Videoconferencing changed the way people interact during the pandemic by connecting colleagues, families and friends. But the availability of online consultations over video calls unlocked a lot of possibilities for healthtech in the Emirates, since it facilitated more regular checkups and reduced the burden on the infrastructure.
Medtech startups and public healthcare authorities in the region have used high-speed connectivity along with gadgets, to create an ecosystem where people can access top-notch care from a distance. Following in the footsteps of a service that allows Emirati patients travelling abroad to stay in touch with their doctors back home, Dubai has launched a virtual doctor service which connects doctors in other countries to users in UAE.
The telehealth solution accessible via smartphones, an Arab Health pavilion and malls in Dubai, will let people get advise on well being from Emirati practitioners based out of Canada, Turkey and New Zealand. The platform which also allows local medical professionals to assist patients, has so far handled thousands of calls, by providing services in Arabic, English, French and multiple Indian languages.
Unlike some apps that allow people to conduct basic tests via sensors, the Emirati virtual doctors will stick to addressing queries, and can direct people towards hospitals if a visit is required. It’ll prove to be a handy tech tool given the rising awareness about personal health in the country, which has also triggered a surge in sales of wearable monitoring gadgets and devices like portable oximeters.
Tele-consultations were also an important cog in the tracking and tracing machinery, which helped the UAE push through the pandemic without an outbreak. Remote care of patients in isolation was key to maintaining space at hospitals, while ensuring safety of the medical staff.
Launch of these public services reinforce the position of Dubai as a regional medtech hub, along with initiatives including a new smart facility where robotics enhance care for people undergoing spinal surgeries or oncology.