DHA rolls out Telehealth project

The Dubai Health Authority (DHA) has begun the implementation of its much-awaited RoboDoc project. The first patient to undergo treatment using this advanced technology was based in Hatta Hospital.

Doctors from Rashid Hospital’s respiratory department communicated with the team of doctors at Hatta Hospital to provide specialised consultation and respiratory management for a 40-year-old patient with respiratory complications.

DHA is the first government health organization in the region to implement telehealth. RoboDocs have been placed at Hatta Hospital’s emergency department and DHA’s 24-hour primary healthcare centres- Al Barsha and Nad Al Hammar and they are linked to Rashid Hospital’s Trauma Center.

Soon the Authority will roll out this initiative across all DHA hospitals and health centres. The Authority will also extend the Dubai RoboDoc initiative to home-care patients. A nurse will visit the home-care patients and dial in for teleconsultations if needed.

Dr Moin Fikree, Medical Director of Trauma Centre and lead for the DHA’s Telemedicine initiative, said: “Telemedicine ensures immediate access to specialised consultation, which is particularly helpful in emergency situations. It also reduces the transfer of patients to Rashid Hospital. In this particular case, it saved the patient six hours of travel time and additional consultations. Therefore, the benefits are multi-fold, firstly and most importantly, the patient gets immediate access to highly specialised care, it saves travel time and processing time at the receiving healthcare facility and it brings down the cost of healthcare tremendously. The system increases patient satisfaction levels and provides patient-centric care, which is at the heart of DHA’s strategy.”

Dr Fikree added that Telehealth is a boon especially in emergency cases, where time plays in critical role in saving a patient’s life. In fact, through the robot, doctors can consult with two or more specialists in different health facilities at the same time to get immediate multidisciplinary specialised consultation.

Dr Bassam Mahboub, Head of Respiratory Department at Rashid Hospital and lead of innovative care model at the DHA said: “We are embarking on a journey to incorporate future technology without compromising on patient care. In fact, a patient-centered approach and patient happiness remains to be our priority and we are utilizing latest technology to help us achieve this through the provision of high-quality care, by driving efficiency and reducing cost of care, which has an overall positive impact for both patients and the health sector.”

In future phases, DHA also plans to extend the usage of RoboDocs to ICUs, NICUs and for further consultation purposes.

Dubai RoboDoc currently offers nine medical specialities, more to be added later on. The specialities that are presently offered are neurosurgery, neuromedicine, cardiology, emergency, respiratory medicine, hand surgery, burns, home care and psychiatry and psychology.

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