India as a country needs to take quantum steps forward to come up with detailed legal frameworks concerning Electronic Medical Records (EMRs). That was the crux of the conclusion that was arrived at the Conference on Cyberlaw and Compliance Challenges Concerning Health & Medical Industry in India, which was organized on 16th March, 2017 at Conference Room-1, India International Centre, 40, Max Mueller Marg, New Delhi-110003.

The said Conference was organized by Cyberlaws.Net and Pavan Duggal Associates, Advocates. The Conference was addressed by Pavan Duggal, Advocate, Supreme Court of India and internationally renowned expert and authority on Cyberlaw.

In his keynote address, Pavan Duggal highlighted the significance of Indian Cyberlaw to the Electronic Medical Records (EMRs) and Electronic Health Records (EHRs) industry. He noted that Indian medical and health related ecosystem and corporate are currently not complying with the requirements of law thereby risking themselves and their top managements to potential legal exposure.

He highlighted the need for coming up with dedicated legal frameworks and laws on Electronic Health Records (EHRs). The laws need to be worked in such a manner so as to protect privacy of individuals and their sensitive personal data, while at the same time giving sufficient flexibility to the medical and health industries to continue their research and related activities.

Pavan Duggal pointed out that the Indian Information Technology Act, 2000 was never framed keeping in mind the electronic health record ecosystem and suggested amendments that need to be made in the Information Technology Act, 2000 . He further suggested stringent parameters for legal frameworks for protecting privacy and related activities in the Electronic Health Records (EHRs) ecosystem, which need to be prepared and implemented. This would go a long way in protecting the patients and their data as also their respective handling in the hands of medical and health related industries.

He further highlighted the need for India to learn from the experiences of West and then further customize the Indian Electronic Health Records (EHRs) legal frameworks in such a manner so as to meet with the customized requirements of India. He strongly advocated medical and health companies to comply with the existing Indian cyberlaw to avoid embarrassment and the potential reputational risks in the event they are found to be non-compliant with any of the existing laws.

Cyberlaw expert Pavan Duggal also highlighted the need for creating far awareness about protecting privacy amongst the patients. He highlighted the need for India to have Electronic Medical Health Records Charter of rights, duties and responsibilities which can be effectively enforced. He further advocated the need for a regulator for Electronic Health Records (EHRs) in India as one-stop-shop addressing all issues, complaints and disputes concerning Electronic Health Records (EHRs) and connected activities.

Pavan Duggal further highlighted the need to concentrate on cyber security of and Electronic Health Records (EHRs) and highlighted the potential dangers that medical and health industries would face from cyber criminals in the coming times. He further highlighted various cases where unauthorized access of misuse was reported of Electronic Health Records (EHRs) aimed at causing wrongful loss and damage to the respective stakeholders.

The Conference was also addressed by various thought leaders in the medical and health ecosystem which include Hospitals, Medical Companies, Biotech Companies, Clinical Laboratories, Healthcare Companies and other related stakeholders in the medical and health related industries. Various experts highlighted the inadequacy of the Indian legal frameworks in the context of Electronic Medical Records (EMRs) and Electronic Health Records (EHRs). The experts further felt that there was a need for far more consultation with the relevant industry stakeholders before the Government comes up with enabling legal frameworks.

The participants further discussed issues concerning Current Cyberlaw compliances that health and medical related ecosystem corporate stakeholders need to comply with and Cyberlaw Strategies for companies in the health and medical ecosystem to exit out from the potential legal exposure.

The participants further discussed emerging norms stipulated by the Government of India concerning Electronic Health Records (EHR) and applicable legal frameworks.

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The Conference recommended to the Government to act quickly and come up with enabling cyber legal frameworks to regulate Electronic Medical Records (EMRs) and Electronic Health Records (EHRs) ecosystem in India and to come up with balanced approach which protect both the interests of patients as also the corporate stakeholders.

The Conference ended with the call for India to come up with immediate steps to further work on security of Electronic Medical Records (EMRs) and Electronic Health Records (EHRs).