UAE: Digital innovation brings healthcare to remote areas

Patients and clinicians in remote areas accessed virtual consultation sessions, which enabled quicker and easier discussion and diagnosis

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Published: Fri 14 Oct 2022, 3:30 PM

Last updated: Fri 14 Oct 2022, 4:39 PM

Abu Dhabi Health Services Company (Seha) and Cisco have successfully completed their pilot project to provide teleconsultation solutions and digitised healthcare services to residents in the capital, especially remote areas, top officials announced during Gitex Global 2022.

As part of Cisco’s Country Digital Acceleration (CDA) programme, the pilot created a virtual network of Seha specialists irrespective of the location of the Seha healthcare facility they are based in.

Patients and clinicians in remote areas accessed virtual consultation sessions, which enabled quicker and easier consultation and diagnosis without the need to physically visit the specialist. It decreased waiting times and minimising travel, especially for patients in rural areas.

The project utilised advanced networking, security and collaboration technologies, and capabilities like autonomous robotics, digital medical carts, and wearables, to scale medical coverage and reduce physical contact.

Seha deployed the highly secure Cisco network connecting all its sites. Powered by Cisco’s collaboration technologies, patients and Seha clinicians used the collaboration solution, Cisco Webex, to virtually connect and communicate.

Specialists reviewed patient’s vitals with the help of biomedical devices and peripherals, similar to onsite consultation, and delivered instant medical expertise and quality patient care.

Saeed Jaber Al Kuwaiti, group CEO, Seha, said that embracing innovation and adoption of new technologies to offer superior healthcare has been a priority.

“At Seha, strategic partnerships and decisions are being made in line with the most recent technological advances, especially to improve patient access.”

The pilot helped enable Seha to test several medical use cases, including remote ward rounds, remote patient discharge, tele-stroke diagnostics, providing remote specialist for emergency departments, and more.

“Our collaboration with Cisco helps us to deliver enhanced results through scaled specialist resources, safer and more convenient modes of communication, and faster, multi-disciplinary treatment for our patients. This collaboration is a significant addition to our previous and continued efforts to enhance access to healthcare, such as setting up teleconsultation services for mental health that resulted in over 200 patients in the Al Dhafra Region alone receiving virtual therapy.”

Abdelilah Nejjari, managing director of Cisco for the Gulf region, noted that digitisation is shaping the future of healthcare.

“According to a study from the Boston Consulting Group, 41 per cent of residents in the UAE turned to telemedicine solutions in 2021. As the UAE continues to pioneer healthcare excellence, underpinned by investments in technology, this is an exciting project that demonstrates Cisco’s commitment to the country’s digital transformation and innovation agenda.”


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