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e-RUPI enables easy healthcare access to last mile with digital tech

Nandita Vijay, Bengaluru
Saturday, January 29, 2022, 08:00 Hrs  [IST]

India’s digital technology with e-RUPI has enabled seamless payment for healthcare. The government has come up with several schemes which allow specialist medical care to be accessible to the last mile, by way of digital delivery of healthcare services, stated Abhishek Malhotra, managing partner, TMT Law Practice .

e-RUPI is a digital solution to allow cashless payment for Covid-19 treatment and vaccination. Since last year, e-RUPI for healthcare became the forerunner in accepting it as a valid mode of payment settlement, he added.

The country’s digital healthcare ecosystem as such does not really cater to the seamless transfer of shifting a patient from one hospital to another. e-RUPI was made available for entities to make payment by preloading money into their e-RUPI wallet. This allowed people with non-smart phones, to be able to avail this service, by way of a unique code delivered to them on their devices, and it promoted offline mode of financial transactions, stated Malhotra.

With the introduction of health and wellness centers, with non-conventional medical set-ups, we have witnessed the economically backward to gain access to better healthcare services and offset the barriers. Yet this transition comes with its own challenges, related to the connectivity and availability of specialists, he noted.

Much like the financial sector, healthcare too ensured that there was some level of regulation and governance concerning healthcare, vis a vis data privacy. Ayushman Bharat, National Digital Health Mission (NDHM) and Telemedicine Practice Guidelines and the draft Health Data Retention Policy are enabling compliance with expected data privacy legislation, he noted.

These regulatory frameworks, have also witnessed a greater reliance on mobile applications and websites for teleconsultation, purchase, and delivery of drugs and medical devices, at-home diagnostic services, and lifestyle disease support.

In addition to this, recognition of these aspects of healthcare delivery under the consumer protection laws has further strengthened the legal support that may be afforded to the consumers. This not only allows the consumers to be able to enforce their own rights but also ensures that the digital healthcare service providers including at-home diagnostics and online pharmacies are cautious about the systems implemented for the protection of consumer data security of the platform.  The trend has now been set for consumers to become more aware of the concept of medical support. Therefore digital healthcare is the way forward, said Malhotra.


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