Dubai: Dubai Health Authority (DHA) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with three companies in its sixth cycle of future accelerators for cutting edge transformational technologies to improve health care delivery systems.
Dr Mohammed Al Redha, director of Project Management Office, Informatics and Smart Health at DHA, told Gulf News: “This initiative will help to enhance the overall health sector and provide patients with the very best standards of care using latest technologies. Patient-centered care is a priority and technology has tremendous potential to better patient care.”
Khulood Abdulla Al Ali, project manager of Dubai Future Accelerators, said: “The projects chosen this year fulfill needs for smart home care, quick AI based solutions for detecting eye diseases especially in case of diabetics and fast dispensation of medicines through smart pharmacy systems. All of the new innovations will simplify and streamline health care delivery systems for the common man, once implemented.”
The three shortlisted companies focus on three different areas of health care – quick wearable technology for smart analysis of body vitals in real time with blue tooth technology. It is especially effective in the case of people who live in remote areas and senior citizens who are unable to travel to hospitals;, a smart portable gadget to detect ophthalmology issues and a smart pharmaceutical delivery system based on AI that will streamline medicine delivery from cargo to shelf.
Once the projects are successfully implemented and their financial and operational viability are worked out, they will be fully adopted by DHA.
Health inmnovations in focus
Vitalgram by Affordsens: This is a tiny wearable patchtype ECG device.
It is so tiny that it can be held in the palm of one’s hand and is equipped with multi-sensors to measure vital parameters of a patient ranging frm electrocardiogram, body temperature, blood pressure, sweat analysis to detect the potassium, sodium, magnesium, lactaste and glucose levels, heart rate variability among other such life-saving vital measures.
Alex Chun Kit Chan, chief technology officer of Affordsens of Japan, said: “This is a daily health monitor deisgined for people who require constant health monitoring but cannot be at the clinic or hospital everyday.”
The continuous vital sensing system works on specific algorithms in real time that is transmitted to a health care facility or hospital. It works very well in case of senior citizens or people of determination who may not be able to come to the hospital for regular check-ups.
The light weight device transmits all the data to a mobile or cloud system for continuous health care monitoring and in case of an emergency can set off an alarm, alerting health care professionals of a hospital that is organised to receive the data 24/7x 365 days.
This can help avert a major emergency and also play a role in preventive management of disease.
The device is currently in the pilot stage and will be introduced soon.
Optomed Aurora: This is a portable, highly sensitive, high resolution, portable eye camera equipped with a microscope to image the rear eye and detect early eye deterioration in case of glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy.
Innovated by Optomed, a Finnish company, the light camera can be handheld or attached to existing equipment to image the eye. Its results can be digitally transmitted using wifi to any part of the world. This technology makes it easier for ophthalmologists to practise telemedicine and consult patients unable to reach bigger hospitals.
Hisham Idrissi, technology officer from Optomed, said: “Unlike other opthalmological equipment, this does not require the eye to be dilated with eyedrops and is a great relief to patients who are required to drive after a test.
"The handheld camera can be directly integrated into the existing system at any opthalmology department. The images are high resolution and also compatibile with telemedicine. The images are sensitive enough to pick up early signs of diabetic retinopathy.”
The Optomed Aurora which has a stamp of approval from the US FDA and the European agency, CE, is being implemented in its pilot phase at Dubai Hospital and the Dubai Diabetes Centre.
Automated medicine storage and disposal system:Imagine a pharmacy run by a robot that maintains up to date inventories of all medicines, sends a reminder for those getting over or expiring and follows a system of automatic dispensation.
Mekapharm, a French organisation, was selected by DHA for providing complete pharmacy solutions to streamline pharmaceutical operation in the spirit of the E-pharmacy model.
Mohammad Oriokot, technology officer of Mekapharm, said: “The automated system functions right from the time medicines are shipped to the UAE. It manages the logistics of transport, shipping and delivery to pharmacy shelves. The system is designed to saves time and resources and cuts out wastage with an early warning system to notify medicines due to expire.
"When a patient presents a prescription in person or online, the system is immedately able to scan the prescription, identify the patient, read the prescription and with the help of a robot locate the medicine on the correct shelp and dispense it in no time.
"In pharamcies that use its software, Apoteka, the right shelf containing the medicine is designed to tilt itself and deliver the number of required boxes on to a conveyor belt to the right counter. The system offers a complete technology solution for the pharmaceutical / chemists. ”
The system which is likely to be implemented and adapted to suit the e-pharmacy services of the DHA is in its pilot stage as well.