Framework for development of Information Technology Infrastructure for Health (ITIH) care in India – a critical study
Health care in India is undertaken by huge numbers of providers - Government, Corporate and Private. Most of the providers do not maintain the medical records systematically and properly following international standards and guidelines. Paper-based health records and unavailability of right information at right time prevents better health care. Here comes the importance of health informatics. Developmental origins of Health and Disease (DOHaD), has proven the importance of records of individual in predicting/explaining the diseases. Dept. of Information Technology, Govt. of India, has taken initiative to develop Information Technology Infrastructure for Healthcare (ITIH) in India. ITIH provides the modalities and procedures to be undertaken for better health care of vast population of India. The framework is a guideline document and comprehensive roadmap that prescribes IT standards and guidelines for each stakeholder across diverse healthcare settings in India with the goal of building an Integrated Healthcare Information Network. The paper highlights the formation of expert group and terms of reference, defining the standards and guidelines, identified the nodal agencies, R&D organizations and healthcare applications. The importance of tele-medicine are also discussed. The paper has discussed the main challenges, namely, funding, computer literacy, infrastructure and coordination, retro conversion of manual system of records to electronic system, standards and guidelines, interoperability, privacy, information overload.