Abu Dhabi Telemedicine Centre: Innovative Healthcare in the Emirates
In the United Arab Emirates (UAE) we often see patients visiting health clinics multiple times for varying non-emergency medical conditions – which can be time-consuming for patients and also contributes to high outpatient utilization rates at many of our country’s clinics and hospitals. Alongside Daman, the Health Authority Abu Dhabi and the UAE Ministry of Health – Mubadala has set out to invest in healthcare innovation and leverage modern technology to enhance the lives of patients across the Emirates. Telemedicine has provided a time-efficient and effective alternative for patients to receive expert medical advice for a wide range of non-emergency health conditions within minutes by phone.
Investing in a Patient-Centered Approach
Mubadala Healthcare partnered with Europe’s leading telemedicine provider, Medgate, to open the UAE’s first telemedicine centre run fully by medical professionals – and created a new world-class healthcare service for patients across the Emirates. Since launching in October 2014, Abu Dhabi Telemedicine Centre has demonstrated that technology does enable a truly patient-centered approach to care – which is evident from the moment our patients’ calls are answered:
- Nurses answer the phones within 60 seconds of calling, and conduct triage
- Within 30 minutes, a physician calls the patient to conduct a full medical consultation
- Follow up calls are conducted to ensure patient satisfaction and continued care, if needed
- Our medical team is available 24/7
Enhancing Our Patient’s Experience
Technology also supports the diagnosis and treatment process, making personalized, high-quality medical advice both convenient and accessible to patients. With innovative features and a user-friendly design, our mobile application – TeleMed – is one of the most advanced and interactive healthcare apps in the region. Patients can use the ‘Quick Call’ feature to call the Centre directly from the app and also locate specialist healthcare services through a ‘Find Provider’ function. As part of the teleconsultation, the app enables patients to securely share images with one of the Centre’s doctors to support the diagnosis process. As a fully digital service – once a patient sends their image via TeleMed it goes directly to our Patient Management System, and is saved in the patient’s electronic medical record (EMR). Patient EMRs help us to ensure efficiency and the best patient experience by allowing any of the Centre’s doctors to view a patient’s medical history when a patient calls.
Addressing Healthcare Needs through Innovation
Recognizing innovation as a cornerstone of social and economic development, last year the UAE government launched the UAE Vision 2021 – a National Innovation Strategy which aims to make the Emirates among the most innovative nations in the world within seven years. The Vision calls for innovative strategies to turn current healthcare challenges into opportunities that in turn, respond to the needs and expectations of patients to provide a safe, high-quality and sustainable healthcare system.
In our first year of operation, Abu Dhabi Telemedicine Centre has proved that innovative, modern technology can transform healthcare delivery and patient outcomes across the UAE – and our monthly average patient satisfaction rate of 90% bears testament to this. We’ve seen strong traction among UAE residents and continue to see growing uptake of the service. Demonstrating that patients welcome our convenient service offering – 20% of our patients are return callers – which is particularly significant in a culture which tends to value in-person medical care. We are committed to providing UAE residents with high quality medical care that is both convenient and accessible. We believe that the Centre has strong potential for growth, and we aim to continue paving the way for eHealth and mHealth both in Abu Dhabi and throughout the region.