Maharashtra to adopt e-Manas, mental healthcare software from Karnataka
Developed in collaboration with the NIMHANS and the International Institute of Information Technology Bangalore (IIITB), the software is currently being used in Karnataka
Mumbai: Maharashtra is all set to adopt e-Manas, an online mental healthcare management system, that will consist of a statewide digital registry of mental health establishments, mental health professionals, persons with mental illnesses and their treatment records.
Developed in collaboration with the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS) and the International Institute of Information Technology Bangalore (IIITB), the software is currently being used in Karnataka. A memorandum of understanding (MoU) has been drafted between NIMHANS, the Karnataka government and Maharashtra which is likely to be executed in January 2022.
“Implementation of the e-Manas software will ease the access of patients to mental health facilities as well as professionals,” said Dr Kanchan Wanere, assistant director (mental health), Directorate of Health Services, Maharashtra.
“It will take about two to three months to completely adapt and start working on the software,” she said. The software will be customised as per Maharashtra’s needs. The state has already sanctioned around ₹70 lakh for the customisation and technical manpower.
Mandated under the Mental Healthcare Act of 2017, the e-Manas software has a clinical module for professionals, a mental healthcare directory module for registrations of facilities and professionals and a patient module where users can fill or download advanced directive applications, raise grievances in front of the Mental Health Review Board and access their treatment history.
As per the Act, an individual shall have the right to make an advance directive that states how he wants to be treated if and when he suffers from a mental health issue. The individual can also nominate his representative in the advanced directive.
Maharashtra has formed eight Mental Health Review Boards which will be linked to the e-Manas software. The boards will consist of the chief judicial magistrate and include other members such as a medical practitioner, a psychiatrist, two recovered psychiatric patients or caregivers and a representative of the district collector or district magistrate or deputy commissioner. Patients, caregivers or other parties can raise grievances on the software.
“All practising professionals in the public and private sector will have to be registered on the software, making it easy for the patients and caregivers to choose well-qualified professionals. Records of all patients who require admission will be on this software and can be accessed or reviewed by doctors with their permission,” said Dr Wanere.
Access to the patient data will be granted through one-time passwords authorised by patients. Thus, if a patient moves on to consult another doctor or migrates to another city within the state, his treatment history can be accessed by the new treating doctor.
“The 2017 Act mainly pertains to in-patients, meaning those requiring admissions. All the patient data stored in the software will only be of those who have required admissions in a mental health facility or hospitals,” said Dr Vijay Maskar, a medical officer with the Directorate of Health Services. The Centre is also considering the possibility of eventually linking the software nationally so that treatment records can be accessed anywhere in the country with patients’ approval.