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In Sikkim, health data a click away

Gangtok, April 9: Health details of all Sikkim residents will soon be a click away with the launch of smart cards that could be read by bar code machines to be installed at primary health centres and district hospitals across the state.

“Sikkim is the first state in the country to introduce health card. The cards will store a person’s complete details, including blood sugar level, body mass index and blood pressure level. Initially, people can access their health profile at their local primary health centres or district hospitals. Later, all the PHCs and the district hospitals will be linked to the main server so that the health data can be accessed in any part of Sikkim,” said P.M. Pradhan, the additional director in the health department.

The launch of the cards was inaugurated by health minister D.N. Takarpa here on World Health Day on Saturday. The cards are being issued as part of the Chief Minister’s Annual Health and Total Health Check up for Healthy Sikkim launched in 2010.

Pradhan said 3,65,130 lakh people in Sikkim possessing voter identity cards or domicile certificates would be provided with the health cards by the end of this year.

“The cards will be read by a bar code machine that will be installed at each of 25 the primary health centres and district hospitals. The data will be updated at the annual medical check-ups,” said the health official.

The software to read the cards has been developed by the National Informatics Centre, Sikkim. “It took almost eight months to develop the software which we have tentatively named CATCH information system. We will hold a training next week for the medical officers and other staff in the health department. They will be taught how to operate the software to know the health details of a patient,” R.K. Pradhan, the senior system analyst at the NIC, told The Telegraph.