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National Health Stack: iSPIRT’s Attempt To Replicate India Stack (Deja Vu Anyone?)

National Health Stack: iSPIRT’s Attempt To Replicate India Stack (Deja Vu Anyone?)

As the National Health Stack goes live for testing with a host of APIs and hooks for private healthcare players, India would do well to learn from the data lessons of the past from Aadhaar and India Stack

But there remain multiple questions unanswered such as the lack of adequate privacy laws and a suitable authority to regulate. Is India making the same mistake it did with Aadhaar?

Like in the case of India Stack and UPI, there are allegations that the partner companies working on the National Health Stack will have an unfair advantage in terms of knowing the full capabilities of the platform and be ready with the right products

In India, as in most developing economies, policy leads and innovation follows. And as we saw in our previous article, healthcare policy has not exactly been the strong point of India’s government despite high profile schemes such as Ayushman Bharat. Even where the policymakers have shown the gumption to forge forward-thinking policy, there has been some hesitation. And now the Dissecting India’s Healthtech Playbook turns to the one policy decision that will have the biggest impact on healthtech.

The National Health Stack, which is a set of essential APIs, recently went live for testing. When implemented in the right manner, it will make telemedicine and other healthtech possibilities a reality with safety, interoperability, security and reliability being the primary pillars. If that sounds familiar, it’s because India has already reaped the benefits of something like this in the past.

We have seen it in how India Stack — Aadhaar, UPI, Digilocker, digital banking and now account aggregator — has transformed fintech, digital payments, commerce in India. Envisioning a similar cohesive future for healthcare, dozens organisations and companies — National Cancer Grid, Swasth Alliance, LiveHealth, DRiefcase and others — have begun testing the newly built National Health Stack APIs in the past few weeks. But there’s still a long way to go before there’s full-fledged innovation built on the health stack.

“It will take a few months before all the APIs get authenticated and certified by an empanelled ecosystem of certification agencies,” iSPIRT Foundation’s core volunteer Siddharth Shetty, who has closely worked on the National Health Stack project, told Inc42.