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23 April 2024

Cameras to detect heart attack before it happens? UAE hospitals get 'smart'

By Bindu Rai

‘Smart’ patient rooms with machines now capable of detecting a cardiac arrest before it happens?

Such technology is within reach of UAE hospitals with the adoption of smart patient rooms, equipped with cutting edge medical advancements such as electronic dashboards and TeleICUs.

The UAE's Ministry of Health (MoH) has launched such smart services across several of its hospitals as a pilot project, before adopting it across other facilities.

Currently, the ‘Smart Patient Room’ and the ‘TeleICU’ are available at Sharjah’s Al Qassimi Hospital and Kalba Hospital, respectively, with expectant mothers and critical patients receiving round-the-clock care with technology that reduces the margin of error and response time in administering life-saving care.

Cerner's Dr Bashar Bakish told 'Emirates 24|7' about the new smart patient rooms that are currently monitoring expectant mothers in Al Qassimi Hospital and would be soon made available for VIP clientele, saying: "Think of it as a dashboard that is providing real-time support to the core team that is responsible to providing care to a patient.

"When a patient is admitted into a room, every health report, diagnosis, doctor check-ups, records, are all updated real-time on his or her personalised electronic dashboard.

"This facilitates critical care with a much faster response time during emergencies and greatly reduces a margin of error."

The smart patient rooms include systems such as interactive patient console, electronic signage outside rooms to warn visitors of isolation or other such requirements, along with real-time tracking to manage assets, providers and patients.

While at one end, these smart rooms allow doctors and nurses to provide round the clock care by simply glancing at a screen, TeleICU's go a step further with special monitoring equipment that is manned 24-7 by specialists who can raise an alarm and monitor a patient's progress from a central hub.

Reinier Schlatmann, General Manager Gulf Region for Philips told 'Emirates 24|7': "TeleICUs are systems that link critical care doctors and nurses to ICUs in other, remote hospitals.  

"The intensivists in the “command center” can communicate by voice with the remote ICU personnel and can receive televised pictures and clinical data about the patients."  

Direct patient care is provided by the doctors and nurses in the remote ICU who do not have to be intensivists themselves.  

Currently, four rooms in Kalba Hospital have TeleICUs with the command centre in Al Qassimi Hospital.  

"These systems have the capability to even detect patient pupil dilation with algorithms that can detect a critical incident in a patient before it even happens," he stated.  

Following the run at these pilot projects, the MoH is expected to branch out these services to other hospitals in the UAE.

(Home page image courtesy Shutterstock)