On 14 August 2020, King Faisal Specialist Hospital - Jeddah, in the Kingdom of Saudi
Arabia went live with the Agfa HealthCare Enterprise Imaging for Radiology platform.
HealthManagament.org spoke to Mustafa Hamdy, Regional Manager, Middle East region for Agfa HealthCare to learn more about the deployment and their future outlook
in this region.
- King Faisal Specialist Hospital – Jeddah is one of
three hospitals that make up the King Faisal Specialist
Hospital & Research Centre (KFSHRC).
- They were the first hospital in the Middle East to
achieve HIMSS EMRAM Level 7.
- In August 2020, Agfa HealthCare and the King
Faisal Specialist Hospital, Jeddah, went live with the
Enterprise Imaging for Radiology platform.
- Agfa HealthCare and the King Faisal Specialist Hospital
& Research Centre will work together as strategic
partners to implement the Artificial Intelligence capabilities utilising the powerful workflow engine of Enterprise
- Enterprise Imaging features that meet the hospital’s
specific needs include remote reporting, peer learning,
web deployment and accessibility, and an integrated
viewer that enables patients to view their images and
reports on a mobile device.
Can you give us a short overview of the healthcare sector in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia?
key points that you would like to highlight about
healthcare in this region?
Health care in Saudi Arabia is a national health care system
in which the government provides free health care services
through a number of government agencies like MOH hospitals, National Guard hospitals, Ministry of Defense, Ministry
of interior hospitals and group of specialist hospitals like
King Faisal Specialist Hospitals. There is also a growing role
and increased participation from the private sector in the
provision of health care services. Saudi Arabia has been
ranked among the 26 best countries in providing high quality
Healthcare is one of the main focus areas of the ambitious
Saudi Vision 2030 and National Transformation Program
2020 (NTP) that seek to improve the quality of healthcare
services and facilities across the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Agfa HealthCare has recently deployed Enterprise Imaging at the King Faisal Specialist
Hospital in Jeddah. Can you tell us something
about this healthcare facility?
King Faisal Specialist Hospital – Jeddah is one of three
hospitals that make up the King Faisal Specialist Hospital
& Research Centre (KFSHRC). This tertiary referral hospital
offers primary and highly specialised inpatient and outpatient medical care and participates in many clinical and
research studies. The 500-bed facility in Jeddah has a topnotch radiology department that also provides training in
diagnostic and interventional imaging to radiology, medical,
paramedical, nursing, and medical students.
On Friday, 14 August 2020, Agfa HealthCare and the
King Faisal Specialist Hospital – Jeddah, in the Kingdom of
Saudi Arabia, went live with the Enterprise Imaging for Radiology platform. Despite the challenges of carrying out the
entire project during the COVID-19 containment efforts, the go-live was smooth and successful. The large-scale
Enterprise Imaging implementation at King Faisal Specialist
Hospital – Jeddah is expected to handle 120,000 studies
Before Agfa HealthCare introduced EI within
this healthcare facility, what kind of system did
they have in place?
In 2010, the hospital became a customer of Agfa HealthCare with the IMPAX PACS, but by 2019, it was time to
move to a next-generation image management solution.
After a competitive tender, the hospital chose to stay with
Agfa HealthCare, and implement Enterprise Imaging.
Agfa HealthCare and STC (Saudi Telecom) decided to
partner together since 2016 mainly to address the cloud
solutions and started offering that service and actively
implemented quite some important installations for Ministry
of Health which went live also this year using STC cloud
technology. STC is also a partner to KFSH in the connectivity projects and that was also a reason for KFSH to align
with STC and Agfa to deploy that important project on the
premises of King Faisal Specialist Hospital in Jeddah.
What challenges was the King Faisal Specialist Hospital facing, and why did they decide to move to Enterprise Imaging?
Enterprise Imaging offers a single, unified platform, with embedded clinical tools and a powerful workflow engine, for maximised productivity. Features that meet
the hospital’s specific needs include remote reporting, web
deployment and accessibility, and an integrated viewer
that enables patients to view their images and reports on a
Agfa HealthCare and the King Faisal Specialist Hospital &
Research Centre will work together as strategic partners to
implement the Artificial Intelligence capabilities utilising the
powerful workflow engine of Enterprise Imaging platform.
What challenges did Agfa HealthCare face
when deploying Enterprise Imaging at this
hospital in terms of resources, acceptance,
The implementation project faced serious challenges due
to the global COVID-19 pandemic. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia instituted a 3-month curfew starting in March.
The hardware for the Enterprise Imaging deployment was
delivered in April. While the installation of the hardware
had to be done on-site, all other work, including configuration and initial training, was done remotely.
Following the end of the curfew, the on-site engineer
was able to take his place at the facility, and the Agfa
HealthCare application specialists could complete the
training of the hospital staff in person.
Despite the challenges in the face of the pandemic, the
go-live went very smoothly, thanks in large part to the
excellent collaboration and hard work of the hospital and
Agfa HealthCare teams, and the project coordination by
the Hospital and Agfa HealthCare project managers.
Is this the first hospital in Saudi Arabia to
deploy Agfa HealthCare’s EI platform, or
are there other successful implementations
already in place in this region?
We have deployed already Agfa HealthCare Enterprise
Imaging platform in several other healthcare organisations in Saudi Arabia. However, King Faisal deployment
was unique because of their size, specialisation, clinical
demand and very well structured infrastructure.
Their ambition towards digitisation is endless. They are
a pioneer in different HealthCare IT aspects, and were
the first hospital in Middle East to achieve HIMSS EMRAM
level 7. They are very serious in their approach to Artificial
What have been the major outcomes? Has
the deployment been successful, and what
benefits has the hospital already seen since
EI was implemented?
Enterprise Imaging offers a new generation of image
management, creating a secure ecosystem of medical
images with advanced image processing, tools to facilitate collaboration and peer learning, and platform performance and stability.
The platform provides the King Faisal Specialist
Hospital, Jeddah with a number of key features that fit
its specific needs, including remote reporting, advanced
clinical applications, and an integrated viewer that
enables the patients to view their own images via the
What future collaboration is planned with
King Faisal Specialist Hospital?
The modern, up-to-date platform meets the imaging
IT vision of the KFSHRC’s pioneering IT department.
Currently we are working with King Faisal Specialist
Hospital management team as strategic partners in
several initiatives. Some of these include:
- Ongoing deployment of Enterprise Imaging for the new
hospital in Madinah, expected to be fully deployed in 2021.
- Further collaboration with AgfaHealthCare to validate
some of the Artificial Intelligence algorithms in Enterprise
At Agfa HealthCare, we support healthcare professionals
across the globe to transform the delivery of care. Our
focus is 100% on providing best-of-suite Imaging IT
software solutions that enable secure, effective and
sustainable imaging data management. From product
development to implementation, our unified Enterprise
Imaging Platform is purpose-built to reduce complexity,
improve productivity and deliver clinical value. We use
our proven track record as an innovator, our in-depth
medical knowledge and our strategic guidance to help
healthcare providers achieve their clinical, operational
and business strategies.
Disclosure of conflict of interest: Point-of-View articles are the sole opinion of the author(s) and they are part of the HealthManagement.org Corporate Engagement or Educational Community Programme.