UAE Healthcare: Telehealth is a reality

Globally the eHealth market is growing, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is also going digital for better healthcare: “From wearables to mobile apps, digital health provides solutions to healthcare challenges,” reports Kelly Clarke, staff reporter, Khaleej Times. When it comes to implementing innovative healthcare technology, the UAE is already at the forefront.

Several initiatives are already under way. Round-the-clock telephone service through Abu Dhabi Telemedicine Centre’s 24/7 telemedicine ecosystem, for example, connects patients to nurses and doctors throughout the region. Telehealth can ensure consistent high quality of care, anytime, anywhere.

Dubai Healthcare City (DHCC) is taking the lead in the region for the development of telemedicine. This provides “direct access to a qualified doctor [specially trained to practice telemedicine] for your daily healthcare needs […],” as noted on its website (telemed.ae).

Amani Al Jassmi, Director of Information Technology at the DHA, mentioned that “DHA is the first government health organization in the region to implement telehealth with remote present robot systems.” RoboDocs, in fact, were placed in Hatta Hospital’s emergency department and in the Nad Al Hammar Primary health care center where is linked to Rashid Hospital’s trauma center to provide immediate medical care.

Apart from the medical consultations over the phone, the center has also developed a free mobile application, Telemed, that allows patients to send pictures of areas of their body, labels of medication they’re using, or any other photos that can assist doctors in a diagnosis. This is relatively a simple way to improve patients’ wellness.

Yulun Wang, Chairman and CEO of InTouch Health and Past Immediate Vice- President American Telemedicine Association, said: “Telehealth is the answer […] In fact, telemedicine consultations can be better than in-patient consultations as well because the computer helps the physician in real time.”

The Health Authority – Abu Dhabi (HAAD), the regulative body of the Healthcare Sector in the UAE, has introduced the ‘Weqaya’ (prevention) online tool program to screen the health status of individuals and aims to help families live healthy, active lives. For more details about the Weqaya program/HAAD services visit weqaya.haad.ae.

In addition, the Ministry of Health (MoH) launched ‘Wareed’, an electronic healthcare information system, giving doctors and nurses access to patient medical records in a database at the touch of a button. Both the Health Authority Abu Dhabi (HAAD) and Dubai Health Authority (DHA) joined the system that “supports the idea of exchanging electronic data because it benefits both doctors and patients,” said Dr. Philipp Vetter, head of strategy at HAAD.

Wearable robotics—i.e., robotic exoskeletons—are also a reality at rehabilitation centers where artificial limbs are put to functional use in therapy.

Using robotics and artificial intelligence has led to best medical practices while improving medicinal efficiency in the happiness of patients, Amani Al Jassmi said. Having adopted new technologies to implement the most modern state-of-the-art healthcare systems available is something the rest of the world can look at and learn to use at their benefit, he added.

Upcoming event: UAE eHealth Week 2017

  • Dubai 12-13 November
  • Abu Dhabi 14 November

For more info, visit its website (uaeehealthweek.org).

UAE Healthcare: Telehealth is a reality

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