Dr Moin Fikree with the RoboDoc. RoboDocs have been placed at Hatta Hospital’s emergency department and DHA’s 24 hour primary health care centres. Image Credit: Courtesy: DHA

Dubai: The trial phase of the Dubai Health Authority’s Dubai RoboDoc initiative will be completed in March 2017, after which, the service will be available across all DHA hospitals and health centres, said a top health official.

The authority will also extend the Dubai RoboDoc initiative to home-care patients, where a nurse visiting the patient can dial in for teleconsultations if needed.

As part of the pilot, RoboDocs have been placed at Hatta Hospital’s emergency department and DHA’s 24 hour primary health care centres — Al Barsha and Nad Al Hammar. All centres are linked to Rashid Hospital’s Trauma Centre.

“Telemedicine is the way forward in many ways. It ensures immediate access to specialised consultation, which is particularly helpful in emergency situations,” said Dr Moin Fikree, Medical Director of Trauma Centre and head for the DHA’s Telemedicine initiative.

He explained that telemedicine will also reduce the transfer of patients to Rashid Hospital’s Trauma Centre and will help enhance the functioning of other DHA emergency departments and ICU’s.

“Telehealth is a boon especially in emergency cases, where time plays in critical role in saving a patient’s life. Through the robot, doctors can consult with two or more specialists in different health facilities at the same time to get immediate specialised consultation,” he added.

Through the new service, 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, reducing the need for patients to travel from Hatta or other areas to Rashid Hospital and providing them with specialised health services,” said Dr Fikree.

Being the first government health organisation in the region to implement tele-health, the DHA is using robots designed by InTouch Health Technologies. This company that develops remote present robots 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, the DHA also plans to extend the usage of RoboDocs to ICUs, NICUs and for further consultation purposes.