Indian government has adopted the ambitious project named Digital India that is a turning point for technology driven services in India. Although the Digital India project needs to eliminate various shortcomings yet issues pertaining to cyber security, civil liberties and techno legal framework require special attention of Indian government.
Although there are no dedicated laws in India regarding telemedicine and its usage yet there are different set of laws that are applicable for different aspects of telemedicine. These include cyber law, privacy law, data protection law, data security law, etc. However, telemedicine stakeholders in India are not complying with the techno legal issues applicable in India and they can be prosecuted for violating these laws and cyber law due diligence (pdf) requirements of Indian laws.
There is no second opinion about the fact that when technology is used for medical purposes, it gives rise to medico legal and techno legal issues. Countries around the world have realised this fact and they have made suitable laws to tackle these medico legal and techno legal issues. For instance, in United States, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA), Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH Act), etc are some of the laws that take care of medico legal and techno legal issues of e-health and telemedicine. On the other hand, we have no dedicated telemedicine laws in India.
E-health laws and regulations in India are still missing and legal enablement of e-health in India is needed on an urgent basis. As on date e-health in India is facing legal roadblocks. Till now we do not have any dedicated e-health laws and regulations in India. Perry4Law Organisation (P4LO) firmly believes that dedicated telemedicine laws of India must be urgently formulated.
This is more so when there are many people and institutions in India that are using Internet in an illegal manner for selling medical products and services. Illegal and unregulated online sales of prescribed medicines in India are rampant and Indian government has still not regulated or controlled these online sales of medicines in India, especially in the NCR region.
Similarly, there are some medical professional and para medical professional who are using Internet for providing their services without following the applicable laws of India. There are also many online pharmacies in India that are violating Indian laws, especially the e-commerce laws and regulations of India.
It is high time for Indian government to regulated Internet related medical issues in India before they become a big nuisance and health hazard for Indian citizens and residents.