GE Healthcare to deliver advanced diagnostic solutions to King’s College Hospital London, UAE

GE Healthcare announced they will deliver advanced technology to fully equip the Radiology Department of King’s College Hospital London in the UAE, the $200 million joint venture initiative by Al Tayer Group, Dubai Investments and the UK-based Ashmore Group.

Located in Dubai Hills Estate, the 100- bed super-specialty facility is set to open in Q1 2019. GE Healthcare will supply the hospital with an extensive suite of diagnostic equipment designed to improve patient experience and clinical outcomes.

GE Healthcare’s technology deployed at the hospital includes radiology systems, including the Revolution HD, a computed tomography solution that delivers high quality images at low dose; the SIGNA Artist, GE’s most advanced 1.5T MR technology; Connexity, a 90/90 remote tilting table system with single end support and variable height tabletop that allows for uncompromised access and automatic patient positioning with X-ray-free centering; the DiscveryXR656 Plus, for advanced digital imaging and that helps address complex clinical needs; the mobile x-ray system OptimaTM XR220amx, which takes digital x-ray to the point of care; and the Senographe Pristina, a major advancement in breast cancer screening, designed to help reduce the discomfort, pain and anxiety of a mammogram.

Speaking about the partnership, David Mezher, General Manager - Middle East, GE Healthcare, said: “The future of healthcare is fast, simple and about affordable solutions that drive tangible outcomes for patients and providers alike. GE Healthcare has an established heritage of equipping the leading public and private sector hospitals in the region with the advanced technology physicians need to be able to focus on what matters most: delivering high quality care to their patients. We are proud to partner with King’s College Hospital London in the UAE.”

Neil Buckley, CEO of King’s College Hospital London in the UAE, said: “King’s uses evidence-based, transparent healthcare practices to increase the likelihood of successful outcomes for patients, whilst minimising the likelihood of complications or the need for corrective procedures. Equipping the facility with the most advanced diagnostic technologies available is critical to delivering accurate, evidence-based care.”

GE Healthcare’s technology will support King’s College Hospital London in its mission to offer-leading expertise and the best evidence-based care delivered by leading experts. Some of these experts will be part of a visiting doctors’ program, the ‘London Faculty’, which will bring cutting-edge medical treatment to the UAE, including several firsts. In addition to specialist practices in pediatrics, diabetes, endocrinology, and obstetrics & gynecology, the hospital is set to bring its world leading expertise in liver transplant medicine.

GCC healthcare market forecast to reach $94bn by 2021

Private healthcare in the GCC, estimated at US$62 billion in 2016, is forecast to expand 8.7% annually, to reach $94 billion in 2021, according to MENA Research Partners (MRP), a leading research company in the region. KSA and UAE together represent more than two thirds of the market, where the latter is witnessing the fastest growth in the region.

Anthony Hobeika, Chief Executive Officer at MENA Research Partners, said: “Healthcare services account for the lion’s share of the healthcare industry, at 79%, and is the fastest growing segment in UAE. On the other hand, medical devices segment, the smallest, is witnessing double digit growth in Oman, Qatar and Kuwait.”

The healthcare services market is undergoing structural shifts to adapt to the demands of health-conscious and digital savvy population. Although still at a nascent stage, telemedicine, home healthcare and long-term care are outperforming traditional health service providers such as hospitals and clinics.

Hobeika said: “The fundamental change in market dynamics from curative to preventive care, and the digital wave transforming the sector, are creating investment opportunities in the niche segments of specialised and customised healthcare in the region.

“Despite the last years’ turmoil amid oil price slump, which led to budget adjustments in many GCC countries, healthcare remained the major government expenditure and the private sector is considered a key partner in the long-term development of the sector, in particular in terms ofquality care. In fact, economic diversification plans and national healthcare strategies to decrease the capacity shortage and improve the quality standards of the medical services, are leading states to open the sector to full foreign ownership and share the healthcare burden with the private sector.”

FreeStyle Libre eliminates the need for finger pricking

The UAE Ministry of Health and Prevention (MOHAP) has launched the LibreLink app from Abbott Laboratories, allowing diabetic patients to monitor blood glucose using smartphones. This is in line with its vision to provide personalized healthcare and self-management solutions using smart monitoring devices to test blood glucose levels, while also reducing possible complications related to diabetes.

The LibreLink app from Abbott reads glucose levels via the FreeStyle Libre sensor placed on the back of the upper arm, eliminating the need for routine finger pricking while delivering instant results. The sensor should be replaced every 14 days, and patients can swim or take showers while wearing it.

Dr Yousif Mohammed Al Serkal, Assistant Undersecretary for the Hospitals Sector, noted that the Ministry of Health and Prevention is committed to improving community health, and providing innovative and comprehensive healthcare services, that meet international standards, such as using mobile apps and wearable technologies.

Al Serkal highlighted the importance of using advanced methods to treat diabetes, noting that regular testing for patients, treatment management, self-care, accurate monitoring of blood glucose, and continuous data management through this app, would help reduce the negative health, social and economic effects diabetes has on the community. He noted that the quality of the services provided by the ministry have helped reduce the prevalence of diabetes.

Dr Kalthoom Mohammed AlBalooshi, director of the ministry’s Hospitals Department added that the app can transfer up to eight hours of data on glucose levels from the FreeStyle Libre sensor developed by Abbott, and features a trend arrow that indicates whether glucose levels are steady, rising or dropping.

The app is very useful for families and healthcare providers, as one LibreLink account can show results for up to 20 individuals. The LibreLink app is compatible with Android OS 4.0 or higher.

Usually, diabetics use finger pricking to get a blood sample, test glucose levels and be able to make informed therapeutic decisions. However, FreeStyle Libre eliminates the need for finger pricking allowing patients to be treated and reduces the risks of cardiac disease, strokes, blindness, kidney failure, and diabetic foot damage that come with high glucose levels.

Small UAE study shows infertility rising in age group 20-30

Maternal age is the one of the most important factors to help identify a woman’s odds of having a baby. According to IVI Middle East Fertility Clinic, a recent analysis of the patient demographics reveals that of every 1000 patients that come to the clinic, theage group of 20 to 30 is witnessing a surge in both male and female infertility factors.

This age group accounts for almost 15% of the total patient count which is the second highest, according to the analysis. The clinic also notes that there has been a steady increase in female infertility cases amongst Emirati couples from this age group.

Their research shows that the largest number of infertility cases in the region are from the age group of 35-40; They note that most cases of female infertility are triggered by causes that are specific to the population of the region.

“While lifestyle and eating habits are two critical factors that have led to an increase in infertility with the age group 20-30, consanguinity is another very important reason for the increase in such cases amongst the Emirati population,” said Professor Dr Human Fatemi, Subspecialist Reproductive Medicine and Reproductive Surgery, Medical Director, IVI Middle East Fertility Clinic.

“Emirati families appear to be facing an increased incidence of infertility. In females, parental consanguinity leads to a low ovarianreserve and due to rare sun exposure of the skin, Vitamin D deficiency is very common. Other factors are unhealthy diets and diabetes. Similarly, male infertility is related to obesity, excessive smoking, possible steroid consump¬tion for bodybuilding and largely consanguinity,” said Dr Barbara Lawrenz, Consultant Obstetrics & Gynaecology, IVF, IVI Abu Dhabi.

Philips, VPS Healthcare sign 10-year agreement for Philips’ enterprise-wide EMR solution

Royal Philips and VPS Healthcare, one of the Middle East’s largest healthcare groups, have signed a multi-year partnership agreement to install Philips Tasy EMR in VPS Healthcare hospitals and clinics throughout the United Arab Emirates, Oman and India. Tasy EMR is Philips’ next generation Electronic Medical Record (EMR) and care management solution, which addresses the shortcomings of conventional EMRs.

“With Philips Tasy EMR, we will move from multiple IT platforms to a single integrated solution that allows us to manage all clinical and logistical processes,” said Dr Shamsheer Vayalil, Chairman and Managing Director of VPS Healthcare. “We need our data to be available wherever and whenever it’s needed. Tasy EMR’s ability to move patient and administrative data around the entire VPS network is critical to the high quality seamless care that VPS Healthcare wants to deliver in the region.”

Frans van Houten, CEO of Royal Philips, said: “The agreement with VPS Healthcare underlines the fact that we have a very strong portfolio of health informatics solutions to support the needs of clinicians and health systems in improving patient care while also optimizing processes and the use of resources throughout their organizations. I am convinced that Tasy EMR will help VPS Healthcare to improve both the quality of care and the patient and staff experience at lower cost.”

Conventional EMRs typically contain standard medical and clinical data about a patient and were originally designed to use this information primarily for administrative tasks such as billing. Accordingto Philips, Tasy EMR takes a different approach and is developed to streamline workflows and optimize patient care. It offers a single integrated platform and database to enable centralized management of medical, organizational and administrative processes. These range from patient care to inventory and supply management, revenue cycle management and financial reporting. Other processes covered by Tasy EMR include bed management, and the scheduling of rooms and staff for appointments and medical procedures. By managing both clinical and administrative workflows, Tasy EMR connects the dots between different aspects of patient care. Designed to be highly flexible through traceable user roles and profiles, it keeps pace with a hospital’s workflows, standards and key performance indicators.

VPS Healthcare is one of the largest integrated healthcare groups in the Middle East, with 22 operational hospitals, 125 health clinics, 13,000 employees, one of the largest pharmaceutical manufacturing plants in Dubai, and medical support services spread across the Middle East, Europe and India.

This partnership between Philips and VPS Healthcare represents an important step in the Tasy EMR success story beyond Latin America, where Philips already enjoys a leading position in the EMR market with approximately 1,000 installations at healthcare providers in Brazil and Mexico. The use of Tasy EMR has already helped eight Brazilian hospitals receive EMR Adoption Model Stage 6 certification and helped one hospital receive Model Stage 7 (the highest level possible) from HIMSS Analytics, meaning they are near-paperless and are driving integration, security and analytics to optimize patient care.

Philips notes that in selected markets Tasy EMR is also available as part of Philips IntelliSpace Enterprise Edition, which enables health systems to manage the growth and cost of their clinical enterprise with a managed service model. It offers a full suite of interoperable healthcare informatics applications and services for hospitals and integrated health networks that helps to further improve quality of care, while meeting the evolving challenges of budget constraints.

King Faisal Specialist Hospital ranks in world’s top 10% for number of heart transplants

According to a report in Arab News the cardiac centre at the King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Center (KFSHRC) in Riyadh is now in the top 10 percent of the world’s heart centres with respect to the number of annual transplants.

The list is based on statistics of the International Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation (ISHLT).

Dr Jehad Al-Buraiki, consultant and head of the KFSHRC’s cardiology centre, told Arab News that the centre transplanted 35 hearts in 2017, including seven to children under the age of 14.

He said that the success rate was 87%, which is comparable to the averages of 250 heart centres in the US.

He noted that since the start of the program in 1989 until the end of 2017 the hospital had performed 302 heart transplants.

UAE’s MOHAP is first to use AI-based smart app to help patients with multiple sclerosis

The UAE Ministry of Health and Prevention announced that it is the first institution in the world to use a smart application to help treat chronic or recurrent depression, or multiple depressive disorder, associated with multiple sclerosis (MS) for patients over 18 years old. The app was launched to provide social and psychological support to patients.

Using artificial intelligence (AI), the DePrexis MS app simulates functional interventions based on psychotherapy research. The US FDA and CE have approved the app, which according to some studies has been shown to have a similar positive effect to medication.

Dr Yousif Al Serkal, Assistant Undersecretary for Hospitals, said that the ministry’s latest achievement marks another milestone in the UAE’s strategy to offer AI-based medical services.

Dr Serkal said: “It is great to leverage the latest scientific technologies to alleviate the suffering of patients. This is also part of the ministry’s strategy to promote community health through provision of comprehensive, innovative, and world-class health services to build a happy society.”

Dr Kalthoum Al Baloushi, Director of Hospitals Administration, said: “The ministry will always provide patient-focused healthcare solutions. In this case, we seek to alleviate the suffering of MS patients by helping them smoothly integrate into society and provide social, psychological and moral support through sophisticated treatment methods. These methods include the AI-based Deprexis MS app, the latest global therapeutic approach which we are applying in the ministry-run hospitals.

HMC signs agreement with Heidelberg University Hospital to enhance collaboration

Qatar’s Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) and Heidelberg University Hospital, an internationally renowned clinical and research institution located in Heidelberg, Germany, have signed an agreement to enhance mutual collaborations in clinical, translational, and basic research. The agreement was signed by Dr Hanan Mohamed Al Kuwari, Minister of Public Health for the State of Qatar, Professor Dr Annette Grüters-Kieslich, Chief Medical Director and Chairwoman of the Board of Heidelberg University Hospital, and Irmtraut Gürkan, Administrative Director and Vice-Chairwoman of the Board, Heidelberg University Hospital.

Dr Al Kuwari expressed her strong support for the deepening relationship between HMC and Heidelberg University Hospital, which will see further development of collaborative programs in medicine, especially in the fields of cancer research, technology transfer, and training.

“The purpose of the agreement is to promote opportunities for clinical and basic research collaborations, and to advance healthcare delivery in Qatar,” said Dr Al Kuwari. “We are very pleased to be entering into this important agreement with Heidelberg University Hospital, as we work together to explore new ways to deliver better patient care.”

The signing of the agreement took place during the opening ceremony of the first Doha-Heidelberg Research Conference on 27 January, 2018.

Prof Grüters-Kieslich, who also gave the keynote address at the opening ceremony, said: “An important focus in the development strategy of Heidelberg University Hospital is strengthening international networks in clinical research and medical care. For many years Hamad Medical Corporation has been an important partner for Heidelberg University Hospital and this agreement opens the way to take our relationship to a new level in the future.”

Dr Saad Al Kaabi, Conference Organizing Committee Chairman and Chairman of the International Medical Affairs Office at HMC, sadi: “Hamad already has a long-standing relationship with Heidelberg University Hosptial and this agreement will see advanced opportunities for joint collaboration, particularly for cancer research and training that will benefit a wide range of institutions in Qatar.

“The success of this first research conference between our two organizations has seen many clinicians, researchers and academics come together to share knowledge and experience which will help inspire future collaboration opportunities,” he said.

Experts in the fields of Gastro-Intestinal (GI) cancer, neuro-oncology, and hematological malignancies as well as pediatric cancers and genomic medicine in newborns presented their research results during this two-day conference.

The National Center for Tumor Diseases NCT of the Heidelberg University Hospital is an international leader in cancer medicine and has a strong academic focus on improving cancer care through intensive clinical research.

Date of upload: 24th Mar 2018

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