Health services offered on your mobile phones is the landmark move that saw the UAE’s Ministry of Health sign an exclusive agreement with telecom operators Etisalat and du as part of a wider ‘mHealth’ programme across the UAE.
The programme aims to support patients with diabetes or those at risk, as well with cardiovascular and respiratory diseases.
The two-year agreement, which was initiated by the GSMA, 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 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.
The programmes will include information and application of obesity control, cancer and patient health education, remote patient diagnosis and monitoring, tele-health and medical video conferencing and further programmes that promote a healthier lifestyle.
In a statement, Abdul Rahman Al Owais, Minister for Health said: “The country is facing a major public health challenge with non-communicable diseases such as diabetes, cancer and cardiovascular diseases.
“This partnership represents our commitment to fight these diseases by delivering high quality mobile health services to all Emiratis and expats regardless of location.
“Mobile health technology is at the heart of our strategy to deliver medical services that tackle the growing burden of non-communicable diseases.”
Saleh Al Abdooli, Chief Executive Officer, Etisalat added: “This is an important agreement in terms of delivering wide-ranging mHealth 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.”
This service has been made possible through Etisalat’s FTTH network and cellular 4G/LTE capabilities, as well as its M2M solutions, he said.
Osman Sultan, CEO, du added: “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.
“…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,” he added.
The agreement was signed by Al Owais, Al Abdooli and Sultan.
Alex Sinclair, Chief Technology Officer, GSMA said: “We established the mHealth Innovation Group and the mDiabetes Campaign in Dubai last year to discuss how mobile technology can play an active role in healthcare.
“This current level of engagement between Ministry of Health and mobile operators is a tribute to their commitment to improving health in the region.”