As part of its active participation in GITEX Technology Week 2020, which is being held at the Dubai World Trade Centre from 6 to 10 December 2020, the Ministry of Health and Prevention, MoHAP, showcased the recent updates of its world-class telemedicine and health monitoring services, which aim to provide innovative digital health solutions and services, deliver specialized care and medical advice remotely, and to cut down the number of visitors to hospitals.
MoHAP’s upgraded telemedicine service includes all medical consultation services and constant follow-up, based on the audio and visual communication between patients and their attending doctors without the need to leave their homes.
Since the Covid-19 outbreak, the ministry has been keen to boost its telemedicine system to ensure the safety of community members, reduce health risks, and mitigate the burden of commuting between hospitals and outpatient clinics. MoHAP has developed more than one way to enable patients to communicate with doctors, whether by sending an electronic link to patients’ phones reminding them of the appointment or by directly contacting MoHAP’s hotline number. This has contributed to ensuring the continuity of providing patients with top-notch health services.
At present, telemedicine services include cardiology, pediatrics, internal medicine and nutrition, and remote mental health services, such as psycho-social support, rehabilitation programs for drug-addicted patients, and other psychiatric departments and community psychiatry of different age groups, such as adults, the elderly, children, and adolescents.
The service is also featuring motherhood, childhood, public health, and disease prevention educational programs, with the availability of video calling services to connect patients with abroad consultants to get remote 2nd opinion consultations in critical conditions, as part of the Visiting Doctors Program. At the end of the second quarter, the number of virtual visits has amounted to 44,529, while it jumped to 49,599 visits at the end of the third quarter.
Leveraging digital solutions in treatment services
His Excellency Dr. Youssif Al Serkal, Director-General of the Emirates Health Services Corporation, said: “MoHAP is committed to developing innovative tools and smart services befitting all circumstances, as well as providing high-quality health and treatment advisory services, by leveraging smart technologies in digitizing health services according to the most sophisticated global practices.”
“In line with the directions of the UAE government to improve the quality of life and the sustainability of health care, we provide smart preventive home services to patients, senior citizens and people of determination, using the AI technology and telemedicine devices, virtual and augmented reality, and home care tools and devices,” he added.
In this regard, the Ministry was keen to make the most of the latest technologies of the Fourth Industrial Revolution to meet the needs of patients, support future medical decisions, and cut down health care costs.
Al Serkal went on to say: “Over the years, MoHAP’s telemedicine and health consultation services have constituted a key pillar in supporting the UAE strategy for artificial intelligence to invest in and apply the latest technology tools and in the health sector.”
Concluding his remarks, Al-Serkal affirmed that MoHAP has state-of-the-art technological infrastructure the presence of a highly competent medical and technical staff who are capable of dealing with telemedicine services, at a time when global health facilities are facing formidable challenges to prepare for the Covid-19 pandemic.
Top-notch health services
Dr. Kalthoum Al Baloushi, Director of MoHAP’s Hospitals Administration, said: “To provide patients with top-notch health services, we have applied the latest technology in our telemedicine services. This has helped us provide 24/7 medical consultations since the Covid-19 outbreak, in addition to increasing our outreach activities via media outlets and SMS, as well as MoHAP’s website and social media platforms.”
“Such efforts have contributed to strengthening MoHAP’s efforts to spread the telemedicine culture and figuring out solutions to tackle the technical challenges faced by the elderly in cooperation with family members to facilitate communication and provide comprehensive and integrated health care to them,” she added.