Two major health authorities of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the Department of Health – Abu Dhabi (DoH) and the Dubai Health Authority (DHA) have announced their strategic partnership for developing an international healthcare model that promotes quality of life and enhances health.
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This was announced during a meeting at the DHA headquarters in Dubai between Sheikh Abdulla bin Mohamed Al Hamed, DoH Chairman, and Humaid Al Qutami, DHA Director-General. Officials and specialists from both sides were also present.
The smart transformation the UAE are currently witnessing has been outlined as one of the most important goals for such cooperation. Among other topics the parties discussed electronically linking health systems between Dubai and Abu Dhabi (through ‘Malaffi’ and ‘Nabidh’ systems), the health insurance framework, exchange of regulatory data and information, including the licencing process for healthcare professionals, medical education and research, capacity planning and the outpatient treatment system.
Implementation of shared training and occupational growth programmes, as well as exchanging experiences and skills were also named among the areas of importance.
According to Al Hamed, the next phase of the health sector development will be based on technology, innovation and Artificial Intelligence, with “health and well-being of the society at the top of the priority list."
Acknowledging the progress achieved in the UAE health sector, Al Qutami stressed that partnering with DoH enhanced the development of medicine and integrated healthcare systems.
During the meeting DoH presented details of its ‘Malaffi’ system, a key component in the digital transformation of the healthcare system in Abu Dhabi. ‘Malaffi’ is the region's first Health Information Exchange (HIE) platform, a centralised database of real-time public health information. It includes a patient app, which was presented at Arab Health 2020 and is to be rolled out later this year; a portal for providers already accessible to over 15,000 authorised users; and analytics dashboards designed to assist DoH in the broader monitoring of healthcare quality. In the future, using AI and machine learning, 'Malaffi' is expected to be increasingly used to reduce disease progression, promote improved health outcomes and, ultimately, prolong life.
Salama and Nabidh
In turn, the DHA shared its most important initiatives, such as 'Salama' unified electronic medical record (EMR) system. It was launched in 2017 to centralise access to records for patients and doctors across DHA facilities. The patients only have to register in the system once, during their first visit to a facility. Following the completion of the registration process, every patient has one integrated medical file across all facilities, which ensures continuous treatment in the event of a hospital transfer.
The system integrates 25 applications through a single interface, and the EMR integrates information on the patient’s appointments, queue management, radiology, pharmacy, laboratory information system, dental records, information on biomedical devices, etc.
Another project, 'Nabidh' (Network Analysis Backbone Integrated Dubai Health), is aimed at generating Dubai-wide health data, which can be used, among others, for devising evidence-based policies, for research purposes, against insurance fraud and for crisis and outbreak management via the link with other departments, eg the Dubai Municipality, Dubai Police and Civil Defence, through a command centre.