Healthcare @home. A doctor seeing a patient in the comfort of her home Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: Healthcare major Aster DM Healthcare will soon launch a full-fledged network of home care services across Dubai.

In an exclusive interview to XPRESS last week, Aster Chairman Dr Azad Moopen said the healthcare group is awaiting the final clearances from Dubai Health Authority (DHA) for the roll-out of what will be called “Aster@home”.

Much-needed relief

Dr Moopen said, “Happiness in healthcare can be increased tremendously by delivering it in the comfort of the homes of the people who require it. Unlike in banking or shopping where we don’t have to leave home now for a transaction, a patient has to come to a clinic or hospital to see a doctor and get the medicines from a pharmacy even for a minor ailment. Imagine how this can be transformed by providing doctor consultations, basic investigations and delivery of medicine without the patient moving out of his home. This can be efficiently done using available technology.”

 Unlike banking or shopping where we don't have to leave home for a transaction, a patient has to come to a clinic to see the doctor. Imagine how this can be transformed.”

 - Dr Azad Moopen, Aster Chairman


He said with the authorities in the UAE issuing regulations for telemedicine, healthcare@home will become an emphatic reality bringing much-needed relief to people.

Dr Moopen said Aster@home will not only offer patients the luxury of a doctor’s consultation in the comfort of their own homes, but also enable them to book appointments and make payments through an Aster app.

“All the doctors in our network can be accessed through the app,” he said, adding that patients will be given a phone option too as many still prefer to make a call rather than go online.

Vast network

Currently, the Aster DM Healthcare health care network has over 317 operating facilities across nine countries. This includes 18 hospitals, 96 clinics and 203 retail pharmacies. Within Dubai, the group operates the Medcare Hospital in Al Safa, Medcare Women & Children’s Hospital and Medcare Orthopedic and Spine Hospital on Shaikh Zayed Road, Aster Hospital in Mankhool and Medcare Hospital in Sharjah besides a chain of clinics.

Dr Moopen said research shows that 60-70 per cent of all diagnosis is made on the basis of the patient’s history. While lab and other diagnostic tests can be done on the spot, patients will be advised to visit the hospital. With facilities in India too, Aster patients also have the option of going to hospitals like Aster Medicity in Kochi and Aster CMI, Bengaluru, for further treatment, saving as much as a third of the costs.

He said unless basic insurance packages are beefed up in the UAE, patients will face many challenges, including delays or in getting approvals. Dr Moopen said the future of healthcare lies in digital and home services which help save both time and resources.