11th Nov 2018

Telemedicine has potential to take UAE healthcare to next level: Advance Health Expert panel

Dubai Science Park, a science- and healthcare-focused business community, hosted the third forum as part of its Advance Health networking platform under the theme ‘Telemedicine in the evolving healthcare landscape’. The forum convened leading industry experts to discuss how telemedicine can advance the healthcare sector in Dubai and the wider UAE.

Dubai Science Park organised the event in partnership with Open Health, a medical communication and market access agency, Synapse Medical Services, a healthcare administration company, and Connect Communications, a strategic healthcare communications agency.

Distinguished panellists from the regulatory domain included Dr Mohammad AlRedha, Director of Health Informatics & Smart Health Department & Project Management Office at the Dubai Health Authority (DHA), and Andrea Tithecott, Partner in the Regulatory Practice and Head of the Healthcare Group at Al Tamimi & Company. Among the telemedicine specialists on the panel were Reza Kazemipour, Co-chief Executive Officer of inui Health, Charlie Barlow, Founder and CEO of Health at Hand, and Brian de Francesca, Chief Executive Officer of Ver2 Digital Medicine.

Welcoming the delegates to the networking event, Marwan Abdulaziz Janahi, Managing Director of Dubai Science Park and Chairing Member of the Pharmaceuticals and Medical Equipment Taskforce of the Dubai Industrial Strategy 2030, said: “Telemedicine has the potential to transform our healthcare system in unimaginable ways. It has given us remote access to primary care doctors and specialists, saving transportation time and expense. In addition to offering patients greater convenience, telemedicine is improving healthcare outcomes, such as early detection, diagnosis and treatment. It truly has revolutionised the UAE’s healthcare landscape.”

Dr Mohammad AlRedha reviewed the findings of a recent DHA research report that suggests that worldwide revenue for telehealth devices and services will reach US$4.5 billion by end-2018. Meanwhile, the number of users is expected to rise to seven million globally, with 60 per cent of millennials expressing an interest in telehealth services.

Providing a legal perspective on the innovative healthcare segment, Andrea Tithecott said: “Dubai’s health regulator is building upon the existing legislative framework and is working on developing and implementing comprehensive regulations to manage technology-led telehealth services that will help traditional brick-n-mortar facilities and telemedicine providers to ensure patient safety, as well as quality of care.

“We expect to see further guidance issued through mandatory standards when providing telemedicine services, such as complying with operational procedures and policies, and fulfilling the patient’s needs through supporting continuous medical care. We also expect to see that insurance payors will be required to include access to telemedicine services as part of insurance benefit packages and by working with the regulator and service-providers, to encourage appropriate utilisation of such services, which will reduce the healthcare cost burden over the long term.”

Thom Soutter, Business Development Director at Synapse Medical Services, said, “We were delighted by the turnout and feedback for this event. The content was fascinating as the experts in the region covered a broad spectrum of thoughts on Telemedicine from different areas of the sector. We want Advance Health to be engaging, informative and to connect leaders in their field. This event certainly did that and every delegate left with a better idea of the innovative solutions available in the region and why they are so important. We look forward to our next event.”

Dubai Science Park regularly convenes leading industry events dedicated to the science, healthcare, energy and environment sectors. The next Advance Health networking event is set to take place in December on the topic of ‘Health & Wellness for Disease Prevention’.