Andre Daoud, CEO, Medcare Hospitals & Medical Centres, talks about accelerating the use of technology in the current scenario to respond effectively to fast moving diseases such as the Covid-19 and how his organisation has its plans in place
Technology has led to enhanced patient and hospital experiences, as well as better business outcomes. What are the most exciting tech changes you are seeing in healthcare?
From the Medcare Hospitals and Medical Centres’ perspective, patient care is of paramount importance and we complement that with a unique and superior experience. In that respect, both have to go hand in hand. We want to give our patients the best clinical experience in a seamless way. In light of the recent developments, many technologies have stepped in and this has accelerated not just healthcare but many other businesses locally, regionally and across the globe. We are now ready with our teleconsultation platform, as we believe this is the need of the hour to enable proper healthcare access for different specialties and different services to our patients from wherever they are, especially from the comforts of their home.
Today, telehealth and remote monitoring will be two aspects of technology that will gain major traction. We being at the forefront of technology, have our plans ready. From the clinical side, you will also see many technologies and advancements come in, be it the imaging lab or other areas of the industry. We are also looking to invest in software aimed at uplifting our clinical excellence for patients.
How will the telehealth service make a difference in the current scenario?
The new telehealth technology will give patients access to value-added videoconferencing health services on their laptops and mobile phones, meaning that they can receive the quality healthcare they need from anywhere through videoconferencing. The platform is combining telehealth technology and the convenience of telemedicine to empower patients to take control of their health.
From video medical consultations to booking appointments and speaking directly with a number of specialist doctors to recommended care pathways, ensuring improved quality and better value healthcare and delivery across the UAE. The health and well-being of the UAE community is our number one priority and we have created a service that will support the vision of the UAE in healthcare, and change patients’ lives for the better.
The telehealth platform will continue to provide the best in healthcare services offering personalised consultations with best in class doctors to empower the people of the UAE to take control of their own health and give them new, convenient and easy ways to look after and manage their health. It is Medcare’s promise to continue to bring the best health and wellness services to the community using innovations such as the Telehealth platform to make a difference to our communities.
Last year, Medcare announced the launch of its new virtual health assistant chatbots, how will they change the way patients in the UAE access healthcare services?
The two new health assistants — Mira and Leo — use advanced artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms to learn about the patient in order to personalise responses and give accurate information in real-time. Distinctive technology means that the Medcare health assistants allow the patient to manage all aspects of their appointments online including booking, rescheduling, permitted by real-time backend database integration.
Patients can also see lab reports online, check insurance coverage at their convenience and locate the nearest Medcare centre to ultimately optimise the patient journey to receive timely treatment.
The Medcare Orthopedics & Spine Hospital has received the Innovation Award for the deployment of Siemens Teamplay, tell us more about it.
We are one of the first hospitals in the Middle East region to adopt such an innovative next generation approach, which aims at enhancing patient satisfaction and reducing potential harm from diagnostics. The Siemens Teamplay technologies helped Medcare to optimise the radiation safety program by providing real time data for radiation exposure for all its radiology diagnostic procedures. It will also contribute towards sustainability by controlling the carbon footprint and other radiation emissions generated by diagnostic imaging.
Teamplay is a cloud-based software platform, which uses data obtained directly from the equipment and applies analytics to the data to allow the monitoring of the functioning of the radiology department on a real time basis. As the data is taken directly from the equipment, its integrity is assured, and the manual data capture errors are eliminated. The data uploaded to the cloud is completely anonymous, ensuring patient privacy.
Why is using technology to advance patient-focused care an important area of focus for your organisation?
On the clinical front, it improves outcomes and accuracy of treatment. When you look at global trends and data, the consolidation of data and the ability to understand and read it will help doctors in making better decisions and offer better clinical pathways to patients. On the patient experience side, it will reduce waiting times and improve the overall experience. When some services are automated, we can free our manpower and resources to offer empathy and attention to our patients.
How can we respond effectively to fast moving diseases (such as the recent outbreak of Covid-19 disease) using technology?
In this scenario, communication is key. I believe relying on clear, crisp data is important on the way forward. The government has been instrumental in introducing the right communication tools for everybody to be able to work cohesively to address such outbreaks.
If you could change one thing in healthcare today, what would it be?
Apart from technology, I would stress on offering empathy and care to patients. If there was one thing I could change that would be adding more of this aspect to the healthcare industry.
Can you tell us a bit about your goals to deliver top quality, and accessible healthcare using state-of-the-art technologies?
We have different pillars that we follow — the first and foremost is patient safety, then comes clinical excellence, followed by sustainability of the business. Combining all these three in sequence is key to everything we do at Medcare. The situation that we are in today has speeded up many projects that were in the pipeline and shifted many resources to quicken the delivery of alternative solutions and services in the healthcare industry.