Unified Health Interface (UHI), A Healthcare Revolution ?

Unified Health Interface (UHI), A Healthcare Revolution ?

January 14, 2023
10 min read

What is UHI

UHI - Unified Health Interface is one of the fundamental schemes of the Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission (ABDM). It is a network of open protocols that enable interoperability in healthcare services. Open protocols are a group of universally usable technical norms. A protocol that is open (nonproprietary) is one that is not owned by a particular entity and is not restricted to that entity's products. 


Currently, the digital infrastructure of the Indian Healthcare ecosystem is way too fragmented, non-interoperable, and works on a platform-centric model. The platform approach, for instance, mandates that both patients and health service providers use the same platform in order to access a digital health service like teleconsultation or appointment scheduling. 

But, the Open Network-Centric Model of UHI will allow Patients and health service providers to use different applications and still connect effortlessly.


For Patients :

  • Any UHI-compatible application will allow them to get in touch with the doctor of their choosing. Not only doctors but any HSP. 
  • Additionally, users will be able to obtain prescriptions, lab results, and doctor notes digitally on their smartphones. 
  • With UHI patients can share their health records with their healthcare providers.
  • With complete openness on the cost of the health service, UHI will make it possible to choose a variety of healthcare options.
  • There would be quality assurance in HSPs discoverability as patients can search for NABH approved Hospitals and NABL Accredited Labs

For Healthcare Service Providers :

  • The Health Service Provider will be allowed to list and make their service available to the User regardless of the End User Application (EUA).
  • With UHI, HSPs are able to determine the service's cost and receive the full amount without cutting their profits in order to provide commission.
  • User retention is easy in case of the user changing End User Applications. HSPs are still accessible with their Health professional ID or Health Facility ID and they can contact users with their Health ID.


  • UHI may cause resistance for the existing aggregators in the digital health services market since UHI's open protocols can accelerate new players.
  • However, the above point can be beneficial for the common public as it would make the market more competitive so HSPs would be bound to deliver a better user experience.
  • Patients may have privacy concerns if they're not provided any option to hide some part of their medical history that they'd prefer not to share.


UHI seems to be the spark that the Indian digital healthcare system needs. The COVID-19 pandemic and the collapse of the Indian healthcare system proved the inefficiency of existing infrastructure. Discoverability, accessibility, and availability were the main issues during the pandemic, and ABDM and UHI are expected to revolutionize this infrastructure in order to avoid such crisis. While UHI seems to simplify healthcare infrastructure on paper, its on-ground are awaited to analyze "The Healthcare Revolution".

What is UHI?
What are open protocols?
How does UHI differ from the platform-centric model of healthcare services?
What are the benefits of UHI for patients and healthcare service providers?
What are the concerns with UHI implementation?