Mobile health will not only give patients more health awareness and information, but will also change the way doctors operate in the Middle East, said Dr Jamie McReynolds, Chief Medical Officer at Mobile Doctors 24-7 International.
Dr McReynolds, who was speaking at yesterday’s mHealth conference at the Dubai International Convention & Exhibition Centre, is working on bringing the Mobile Doctors 24-7 initiative to the region.
“No physician has the time to spend 45 minutes explaining to a patient information about their body. With this initiative we have the ability to do that with a call centre, giving physicians more time to be an actual doctor,” Dr Reynolds said.
However, Dr Reynolds warned physicians must change their way of thinking to adapt to new technologies.
“Medical school trains you in a very rigid way to be in charge. Doctors are not the best at coaching people to lose weight because they don’t have enough time to spend with people. So you need to celebrate nurses, education programs and other technologies that allow you to be a doctor and not try to be what you’re not,” Dr Reynolds said.
“If we can use the technology to allow us to be a doctor and let us involve other team members to do the best possible job, then the patient gets better care. Doctors have got to let it go a little bit and loosen up, and be willing to use the technology and go there, as opposed to thinking I’m captain and stay off my ship. It can’t work that way,” she added.
A common theme at the conference was not only the slow integration of new technology in the Middle East in general, but also in the health industry.
“I think it’s going to be small steps at a time in the Middle East. There are paradigms in each country and I’ve been around the Middle East now for two years and the paradigms here are very different, there’s going to be slow change but I do think it’s going to happen,” Dr Reynolds said.
“We are really excited because we’ve had a lot of people talk about how it won’t fit culturally in the Gulf region. My goal is to have a locally based initiative. Physicians who are local and a system designed to help develop integration with the physician that the patient seeks. Most people would agree, access to care is a problem and with mobile health with hope to change this,” she added.