The Ministry of Health has signed an agreement with telecoms operators etisalat and du to deliver sustainable mobile health products and services as part of a wider m-Health programme across the UAE, particularly supporting patients with diabetes or those at risk of diabetes as well with cardiovascular and respiratory diseases.
Abdul Rahman Al Owais, Minister for Health, Saleh Al Abdooli, Chief Executive Officer, Etisalat and Osman Sultan, Chief Executive Officer, du signed the agreement.
The two-year agreement, which was instigated by the GSM Association, is one of the first steps in the UAE's ambitious "Vision for 2021" project that aims to promote a healthier lifestyle as well as provide access to world class medical care for all Emiratis and the expatriate community.
The partnership will see all parties work together to develop mutually beneficial, viable and sustainable mobile health products and services related to health and wellness. This will include obesity control, cancer, diabetes and patient health education, remote patient diagnosis and monitoring, tele-health and medical video conferencing and further programmes that promote a healthier lifestyle.
"The country is facing a major public health challenge with non-communicable diseases, such as diabetes, cancer, and cardiovascular diseases, and this partnership represents our commitment to fight these diseases by delivering high quality mobile health services to all Emiratis and expats regardless of location," commented Abdul Rahman Al Owais.
"Mobile health technology is at the heart of our strategy to deliver medical services that tackle the growing burden of non-communicable diseases.This is an important agreement in terms of delivering wide-ranging m-Health solutions and we are confident our programmes will improve patients' understanding of their condition and allow doctors to track their patients' conditions and offer remote medical assistance," commented Saleh Al Abdooli, Chief Executive Officer, etisalat.
"This service has been made possible through etisalat's vast FTTH network and cellular 4G/LTE capabilities as well as our in-depth M2M solutions and we are delighted to be working on this important initiative that will dramatically improve the health and lifestyle of citizens."
"Communication today has changed our lifestyle and impacted our levels of activity, which we can see reflected in the rising rate of health-related issues, such as obesity. As a responsible company with sustainability at the core of our business strategy, we have launched several initiatives that will make use of our communication channels to encourage better life habits and a healthier lifestyle, which falls in line with supporting the UAE's Vision 2021 and our motto of 'adding life to life'.
“We look forward to introducing the Obesity Control Programme in partnership with the Ministry of Health, to encourage young people to adopt a healthier lifestyle through engaging content. This will be a continuation of our efforts to deliver on the UAE leadership's vision of making the world's happiest nation the healthiest, too," said Osman Sultan, CEO, du.
"Mobile health solutions can dramatically improve patient care by allowing doctors to reach diabetes patients regardless of location with targeted health education and empower diabetes patients to better manage their own health," commented Alex Sinclair, Chief Technology Officer, GSMA. "We established the m-Health Innovation Group and the m-Diabetes Campaign in Dubai last year to discuss how mobile technology can play an active role in healthcare. This current level of engagement between Ministries of Health and mobile operators is a tribute to their commitment to improving health in the region." As part of the agreement, the GSMA will provide support to the project, utilizing the expertise it has gained through working with international service providers and implementing best practices in the fields of health, education and transport.