Access to real-time medical data across clinics ensures better care

Residents in the UAE will soon be able to access real-time medical data, ascertaining the continuity of care when patients move from one hospital to another.

The project for unified medical records ‘Riayati’ was launched by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, during the Arab Health Exhibition this year.

Pure Health has been mandated to develop, operate and manage the initiative, which will connect public and private sector healthcare providers across the country, in order to create a secure way to access and share the right health data with the right people in real time.

Riayati will enable secure access to medical history/records across hospitals so that effective care can be provided.

This project will be the first-of-its-kind within the region. It not only helps in unifying and digitising electronic health records but also serves as a platform for the government to use the data and conduct population health management. It will identify diseases proactively, before the onset or at a very early stage and help in developing personalised clinical pathways.

Adnan Asif, chief operating officer of Pure Health, said: “Riayati is the second project that Pure Health has partnered with the Ministry of Health and Prevention (MoHP); the first one being the operation and management of 82 of the ministry’s clinical laboratories.

“Additionally, Pure Health will also set up an advanced federal level reference laboratory which will not only serve the MoHP network but also serve as a key federal level reference laboratory for the entire UAE and its neighbours.”

The secure flow of health data will improve patient safety, increase access to health services and ensure that doctors and patients have all the information they need to make accurate, timely diagnosis and support the best possible decisions on treatment options. This will eliminate duplicate orders, as the laboratory and radiology investigation reports are available across the network.

The programme has been designed by MoHP and Pure Health based on the UAE healthcare market, technology ecosystem and demography. Technologies from renowned global healthcare technology companies and programmes built by countries like the US, Canada, Austria, Singapore, UK, were evaluated for the platform. The market analysis was done by conducting multiple workshops and with advice from renowned healthcare experts, a detailed technology roadmap has been prepared.

“Adoption of IT in healthcare has increased in the last decade and now almost all the bigger hospitals use electronic medical records. Many of the smaller hospitals and clinics are still paper-based. The ‘Riayati’ programme will set standards for healthcare providers to drive the digitisation of health records as it will become essential for the providers to connect to the “Riayati” platform,” added Asif.

The company is currently finalising the selection of various systems and technologies that will provide the infrastructure required in Riayati. The solutions will begin rolling out this year, with many solutions being available on a quarterly basis. The system will be fully available by the end of 2018.

During medical emergencies, complications arising due to unavailability of reliable medical information will be avoided. Providers will also benefit from new tools that will connect them electronically to patients, through mobile applications and video-conferencing. The future of healthcare will be centered around the virtualisation of care through digital health solutions.”

Insurance benefits
Riayati will be the authoritative source of accurate data about the health status of the population. The health insurance providers will benefit from it as it eliminates duplication of services. For example, if a patient had an x-ray or a blood test done at a health centre and the person were to visit a different health centre, the doctor would be notified of all the tests done recently thereby eliminating the need to conduct those again.

If this efficiency can be achieved across the country in many other services, insurance companies will save money and insurance policy costs of individuals will be reduced.

Riayati will also become necessary for the pharma industry to develop next-generation personalised medicine. “The providers will have access to the complete medical records of their patients. All the information they need to make accurate, timely diagnosis and support the best possible decisions on treatment options will be available. Doctors will no longer have to ask the same information again,” said Adnan Asif, COO of Pure Health.