GCC governments are creating new initiatives for telemedicine and eHealth, recruiting private partners to join them, and spending the money to make it happen.
With the tremendous amount of activity occurring, now is the best time for your digital health company to enter this Middle East healthcare market and take advantage of the abundant opportunities available.
Telecommunication companies joining the eHealth movement
In 2012, the two telecommunications providers in the UAE, Etisalat and du, joined the eHealth movement, becoming involved in the development and provision of eHealth solutions.
This provided a structure which could also be defined as telemedicine and created a new opportunity for analytics that will help to improve healthcare outcomes for the UAE community – which is Big Data at its best.
SaaS in the telemedicine and eHealth market
A specific instance of the telemedicine and eHealth merger is Etisalat’s deployment of GE’s Muse Cardiology Information System on a SaaS business model.
The merger provided accurate and affordable cardiac assessments to hospitals and clinics – a solution that will be very beneficial for remote clinics to allow collaboration with major facilities.
mhealth devices in telemedicine and eHealth
Another example of the same type of partnership between eHealth, mHealth and health IT occurred recently when the Dubai Health Authority (DHA) distributed more than 3,000 Android tablets to all health centers in the region.
According to Essa Al Maidorr, Director General, DHA:
“The deployment of Android tablets is the first step in our plan to build smart hospitals that will be integrated with the latest IT technology to enhance customer experience.”
Improving healthcare services with telemedicine and eHealth
Backed by a major eHealth solutions initiative by the Supreme Council of Health (SCH) to improve the delivery of healthcare services, Qatar emphasizes the importance of empowering patients in areas such as telemedicine and education.
Digitization of digital health systems and patient health records is a primary foundation of this initiative to build a unified electronic health records system, which is now fully integrated in 4 of 12 hospitals.
This new regime is also the standard for all new hospitals in the country.
Patient health records within telemedicine and ehealth
Set to open in 2015, Sidra Medical and Research Center is part of meeting the goals of Qatar’s National Vision for 2030.
According to Khalid Al Mohannadi:
“Sidra’s informatics system, called Patient Electronically Accessible Record for Life (PEARL), will ensure that patients and the healthcare professionals involved in their treatment will have instant and seamless access to accurate information at the touch of a button.”
Telemedicine and eHealth market
The global eHealth market is estimated at US$96 billion, and is growing on every continent.
Due to a variety of demographic factors, as well as new government initiatives, the GCC is a region that is ripe for the implementation of telemedicine and ehealth.
In a recent report, “The Digital Dimension of Health Care”, the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) urged GCC governments to increase implementation of digital technologies such as telemedicine and ehealth to increase quality and productivity in the digital health sector.
Kapil Bhatia, Principal, Boston Consulting Group:
“Today’s technologies readily enable the analysis of quantitative and outcomes-based data across large population groups, allowing online and video consultations and providing intelligent self-diagnosis and self-management tools…While developments in technology for healthcare are broad and plentiful, in many cases they are still experimental. However, a number of developments stand out as they have been proven to work in real life scenarios and are particularly promising for potential application in the GCC region,”
eHealth is booming in the GCC today, and the potential for new growth is increasing exponentially.
The citizens in this region need and want the solutions that telemedicine and ehealth have to offer, and GCC decision-makers are eager to partner with private sector players who are ready to enter the market to make a difference.
Now is the perfect time for your digital health company to contribute your expertise to the region and take advantage of the abundance of opportunities that await you.