Dubai Health Care City (DHCC) is in the process of implementing the Hospital at Home initiative, in partnership with the John Hopkins University School of Medicine, Dr Abeysha Abdullah, managing director at DHCC announced at yesterday’s mHealth conference at the Dubai International Convention & Exhibition Centre.
“This is an experiment that is just happening as we speak. Patients can phone in and physicians can give advice and also refer these patients to clinics or hospitals. With this patients can have the safety net where they can actually call someone in the middle of the night,” Dr Abdullah said.
“It’s also going to improve the quality of the physicians because they won’t have to take calls in the middle of the night unless it’s an emergency, in which case the patients will then be referred to them,” she added.
Bruce Leff, professor of medicine at John Hopkins University School of Medicine, expanded on the initiative, which he said has been implemented in several health systems around the U.S. since the mid-2000s.
“The idea is to take care of people in their homes rather than in the hospital. This sort of care can be enabled by mHealth. I think it will start to shift the paradigm from thinking about the hospital as the only place where you can get health care. It may start to enable a focus towards primary care and to a more population-healthcare, as opposed to specialist high-tech health,” Leff said.
The mHealth conference involved a range of people from different parts of the healthcare industry talking about mobile health and its evolvement in the Middle East.
According to these experts, the increasing use of technology in healthcare has led to the introduction of many interesting products in the region. Dr Jonathan Schaffer, managing director at eCleveland Clinic in the USA, spoke of a knee strap as one of them. This special knee stap they have developed sends messages to the concerned doctors on whether a patient has been doing the correct exercises necessary for their recovery from injury.
Even more astonishing was the product revealed by Dr Carsten Schmidt, health care leader at IBM MEA. Mr Schmidt presented a pill with an integrated chip that, when swallowed by a person, sends messages to their mobile phone about health issues it has picked up on in their body.
Other innovative solutions were also displayed at the mHealth conference, which was conducted on the sidelines of the bigger Arab Health Exhibition in Dubai.