Dr Hussain Abdul Rahman Al Rand, Assistant Undersecretary for the Public Health Sector, during the session Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: The Ministry of Health and Prevention (MoHAP) has held an interactive session on the health data repository project and the national disease registry, seeking to strengthen the linkage between the ministry’s Statistics and Research Centre, and public and private sector partners in the field of health statistics.

The move aims to acquire a complete picture of the country’s health status and facilitate health statistical work and realistic monitoring of health services and diseases.

The session was attended by Dr Hussain Abdul Rahman Al Rand, Assistant Undersecretary for the Public Health Sector; Mohmmad Hassan Ahli, Executive Director of the Data and Statistics Sector at the Federal Centre for Competitiveness and Statistics; and Dr Alia Zaid Harbi, Director of the Statistics and Research Centre at the ministry.

In addition, representatives from the federal and local health authorities, the Federal Centre for Competitiveness and Statistics, Department of Health-Abu Dhabi, Dubai Heath Authority and Ministry of the Interior were also present.

Streamlining data

The project is being done in two phases. These include the establishment of links with stakeholders and the development of a disease registry system by creating digital dashboards for various health indicators. It also involves the automation of issuing reports to ensure improved data quality and reduced time required to execute these tasks.

In the second phase, advanced studies in the healthcare industry will be conducted using data science, and artificial intelligence among other techniques and tools.

The health ministry has devised a strategy to establish a national disease registration system, which is one of the pioneering initiatives in the field of disease surveillance and registration, intended to monitor, record, and analyse patient data to raise its quality on a comprehensive national level for the most prevalent diseases in the country.

Dr Al Rand said: “The ministry is dedicated to achieving excellence in the field of healthcare by employing best health practices based on statistical data. This will aid in the implementation of the best strategic planning and decision-making based on databases that assist in the evaluation and measurement of health service performance.”

He pointed out that health databases and statistical data are a key element in formulating plans and policies, as well as ensuring the optimal distribution of health resources and services effectively to improve community health and update health indicators.

He highlighted the significance of the health data repository and the national disease registry in increasing the reliability of statistical data as a key factor in devising health policies and promoting sustainable development. The Assistant Undersecretary for the Public Health Sector further referred to the importance of numbers and statistics in shaping the future vision and measuring performance indicators to improve health services, thus placing the UAE at the forefront in this regard both regionally and globally, and in line with the national agenda and the aspirations of the UAE Centennial 2071.

International benchmarking 

Dr Harbi outlined the project’s importance and impact on the quality of health data, and how it represents a paradigm shift in the field of health statistical work by establishing a central platform for a massive amount of health data.

She went on to say that the project would benefit scientific research by allowing for the formation of vital systematic studies utilizing data science techniques to examine the country’s health situation and conduct international benchmarking.

Dr Harbi noted that the ministry had established the Department of Data Science and Informatics within the organisational structure of its Center for Statistics and Research with the goal to create specialised management of the health data repository project and the national disease registry, develop plans and strategies for the use of technologies and data science tools, and develop activities related to health data to realise the project’s desired outcome, thus achieving the ministry’s vision of providing health care in accordance with international best practices.