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Trauma patients to be monitored by robots in pilot project

DHA to connect remote communities with Rashid Hospital’s trauma centre

Gulf News

Dubai: The Dubai Health Authority (DHA) has launched the pilot phase of a telehealth project which will include monitoring of trauma patients through robots and linking their vital information with Rashid Hospital’s trauma care centre to reach out to them through virtual reality.

Launching the project, Amani Al Jasmi, director of Information Technology at the DHA, said: “The DHA is the first government health organisation in the region to implement telehealth. This project is a boon, especially in emergency cases where time plays a critical life-saving role. Through telehealth these patients will be given immediate access to consultation with specialists . Through the robot installed at hospitals in remote regions, a trauma care patient will simultaneously be able to consult more than one specialist at any given time.”

Citing an example, she said: “Doctors from Hatta Hospital will be able to consult with a neurologist from Rashid Hospital and a cardiologist from Dubai Hospital at the same time. Through this technology we are cutting down in time lapses, providing the patient immediate access to specialised health care, improving medical efficiencies and thus improving the happiness index of our customers.”

As part of the pilot, a robot has been placed in Hatta Hospital’s emergency department and it is linked to Rashid Hospital’s Trauma Centre. Multiple specialists from the Trauma Centre will provide immediate consultations for a patient in Hatta Hospital. The RoboDoc will help reduce transfer of patients to Rashid Hospital’s Trauma Centre. It will also help enhance the function of other DHA emergency departments and ICU’s.

Al Jasmi added that another robot had been placed in the Nad Al Hammar Primary Health Care Centre, which is a 24-hour centre, and this robot will be linked to Rashid Hospital’s trauma centre, where specialists will provide provide immediate medical care.

The telehealth project, which is in line with the vision of Dubai Smart City, is one of the core projects for the DHA because it seeks to ensure consistent high quality of care, anytime, anywhere and any place. DHA will be using robots designed by InTouch Health Technologies, which is a company that pioneers in remote present robot systems to enable health-care professionals to provide more effective and efficient health care by allowing them to be in two places at once.

In future phases, DHA plans to extend the use of RoboDocs to ICUs, NICUs (neonatal intensive care units) and for further consultation purposes.