Qatami Dubai Health Authority
H.E. Humaid Al Qutami, Director General of DHA launched the initiative last week Image Credit: Nadeem Rasheed

In a bid to provide homebound patients with safe, quality and timely healthcare services, Dubai Health Authority (DHA) launched smart home care technologies that would allow the home care team to contact doctors via smart applications and devices for instant consultation.

These smart technologies also include wireless devices that are directly linked to DHA’s electronic health record system, Salama, ensuring that patient records are updated in real time during home visits via a secure web server.

Wireless services

The wireless devices include non-contact thermometers, auto-arm blood pressure monitor, 4G router, smart tablet, pulse oximeter, connected pocket electrocardiogram, blood glucose monitor, wireless stethoscope and a digital scope system.

His Excellency Humaid Al Qutami, Director General of DHA, launched the initiative on Wednesday. Commenting on the initiative, Al Qutami said incorporating smart technologies in healthcare is an important priority as it enhances patient care, ensures better follow-up and empowers patients. He also added that the smart home care services will reduce waiting time, incidences of complication and guarantee timely availability of services, which is in line with the authority’s goals of achieving a healthier and happier society.

Incorporating smart technologies in healthcare is an important priority as it enhances patient care, ensures better follow-up and empowers patients.

- H.E. Humaid Al Qutami, Director General of DHA

Digitalisation

Dr Manal Taryam, CEO of DHA’s Primary Health Care Sector, explained that prior to the introduction of these smart technologies, all the results of patient’s examination were written on papers by nurses.

“Electronically linking the devices to Salama ensures the accuracy of data and allows healthcare specialists to keep track of patients’ overall condition and routine health consultations or assessments from the comfort of their homes instead of having to make tiresome and tedious visits to healthcare facilities,” said Dr Taryam.

She added that nurses can also directly contact the doctor via a smart tablet for providing live feedback and support to the home care team, thus significantly reducing the waiting time for physician consultation.

“So far 1,372 clients benefited from home care services,” Dr Taryam said.

“With the introduction of smart technologies, this number is expected to rise by 50 per cent increasing efficiency of the services provided and reducing the waiting time for getting a specialist consultation from two weeks to instant real-time consultation.”

Dubai Health Authority nurses
Dubai Health Authority nurses can now treat patients at home Image Credit: Supplied

Innovative model of care

Dr Taryam said the implementation of smart home care is in line with the DHA Strategy 2016-2021 to protect and improve the population’s health, enhance home and remote care and implement a innovative model of care.

“The Smart Home Care project is the first of its kind in the Middle East and North Africa to utilise wearables and IoT devices to address the needs of the geriatric and bedridden patients.

“The project bridges the gap between healthcare service delivery and patient needs. It serves as a uniform solution that can be used under various home care scenarios and settings.”

By adopting this smart technology, Dr Taryam said that DHA will improve the quality and safety of care provided to patients, accessing physician care more efficiently and timely, thereby enhancing positive patient outcomes.

“Directly linking the devices to Salama also ensures compliance to documentation and well-coordinated care, which is critical for patients who see multiple clinicians through computer-integrated medical devices,” said Dr Taryam.