Dubai: A new smart App JOIN will be used for the first time in Dubai to reduce the response time by half for stroke and heart attack patients, officials said at Gitex Technology Week on Monday.
The Dubai Health Authority (DHA) and etisalat signed an MOU to initiate the app as a pilot study for three months, said Dr Sohail Al Rokn, head of Rashid Hospital’s Stroke Unit.
Humaid Al Qutami, Director General of DHA, said: “Time is of essence when a person suffers a stroke or heart attack and as soon as the ambulance services are summoned, the paramedics will alert the nearest suitable hospital about the patient. On the way, the paramedics will use the app to send the patient’s ECG and brain scan to the hospital and alert the emergency doctor, neurologist, stroke specialist and interventionist to be ready to receive the patient. This app will help align the DHA’s services to the smart city vision of Dubai.”
Dr Al Rokn added: “This app uses telemedicine for delivering highest quality of care to the patient. It is currently being used in Japan and Brazil and Dubai becomes the first place in the Middle East to use this. In case of stroke, saving time means saving brain damage and that makes a huge difference to patient’s quality of life. After activating the stroke protocol at Rashid Hospital this year, we were able to save the lives of more than 220 patients with immediate acute intervention and it helped them going home with little or no neurological damage after stroke. This app which will be provided free by DHA to the ambulance paramedics.”
The first phase of the app launched this year will be a three-month pilot study at Rashid Hospital’s stroke unit. The second phase to be launched in 2018 will extend to all DHA hospitals and the third phase will cover some private hospitals that have stroke and heart care units.
Meanwhile, the Dubai Health Tourism website DXH.ae that launched its 24/7 live chat in July, has seen a surge in health tourism queries.
Dr Laila Al Marzouqi, Director of Medical Tourism Council at DHA told Gulf News: "We got more than 750 queries through the live chat and were able to generate about 256 leads through it in the last three months.“
The health tourism app was launched last year to facilitate airline and surgical bookings for health tourists.
Dr Al Marzouqi also added that health tourism is on the rise. ”We are not just targeting people who are sick but also those who want to avail our wellness packages. We saw an increase of 320,000 international health tourists in 2016. That was a 9.5 per cent growth compared to 2015. This year the influx has been greater," said Al Marzouqi.