DigiLocker, which has been provided a huge push in the Union Budget announced on Wednesday, is expecting to soon have another major use case by becoming a repository for digital health documents making it convenient for individuals, officials told ET.
In the Budget, DigiLocker has been expanded for both personal and organisational support to streamline know-your-customer (KYC) processes.
“This is going to be used as ‘a very effective container’ for all the health-related documents,” RS Sharma, told ET. Sharma is the founder Chief executive of Aadhaar and former IT and telecom Secretary who launched DigiLocker in 2015 who was till recently the chief of the National Health Authority of India.
Abhishek Singh, CEO, Digital India Corporation, under which DigiLocker is hosted, told ET the facility of storing and sharing health documents on the cloud-based platform has been there for quite some time but is going to be “upscaled for more people to use it”.
“The number of documents currently being stored is not very high because not all hospitals are issuing digital health records. This year I’m expecting a big push in the number of health documents that will come into DigiLocker,” he said.
The platform currently stores documents ranging from Aadhaar, PAN card, Covid vaccination certificate, Class X/XII marksheets, driving licence, and ration card among others.
“The health ministry under the Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission needed a place to store health records, hence came the health locker on the DigiLocker app, where prescriptions, lab reports, X-rays, CT scans and blood reports can be accessible,” Singh said.
A sked how this was different from Ayushman Bharat Health Account (ABHA) App — where patients can maintain and manage their health information in a secure environment — he said integration with DigiLocker enables all ABHA-linked health records to be verified and shared with consent.
“If investigation reports from one hospital have to be shared with another hospital for a second opinion, once the user gives consent, a doctor from the said hospital can access it,” he said. There have already been more than 17 crore ABHA-linked health records and more than 13 lakh health records app downloads.
Currently, the nine issuers/government institutions on DigiLocker under the health and wellness category are: All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) Mangalagiri, AIIMS Patna, Central Government Health Scheme, Department of Health and Family Welfare Karnataka, Government Medical College and Hospital Chandigarh, Maharashtra Council of Indian Medicine, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, National Health Authority, and Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research Chandigarh.
‘Issued documents’ are e-documents issued by various government agencies (issuers) in electronic format directly from the original data source and the unique resource identifier (URI/link) of these documents is available in the issued documents section of DigiLocker.
Launched in 2015, DigiLocker is a secure cloud-based platform for storage, sharing and verification of documents and certificates. So far, 145.95 million users have used DigiLocker and 5.62 billion documents have been stored and issued.
Aimed at the concept of paperless governance, it reduces the administrative overhead by minimising the use of paper and curtailing the verification process.
Issued documents available via DigiLocker are fetched in realtime directly from the issuing agency. To enable more fintech innovative services, the scope of documents available in DigiLocker for individuals will be expanded and a new Entity DigiLocker will be set up for use by micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), large business and charitable trusts, the Budget said.