Dubai: As part of its participation in the UAE Innovation Month 2018, the Dubai Health Authority (DHA) displayed the ‘Salem Innovative Centre’, the “first fully artificial intelligence (AI) autonomous medical fitness centre in the region”.
The centre is the first of its kind to utilise AI and Internet of Things (IoT) in providing medical fitness and health occupation screening services.
Maisa Al Bustani, director of DHA’s medical fitness services department, said the new centre aims to provide medical fitness and occupational screening services using AI without any human intervention, providing a one-stop destination for all medical fitness tests required for completing their employment visa.
She added that the centre uses the latest AI technology to identify the customer through their facial and iris print. It then conducts the tests using a specialised robot. After the tests are completed, the system automatically sends the results to the parties concerned in a secure way. Customers can make payments via smart channels, such as Apple pay, Samsung pay, mPay and ePay.
Also, instead of taking the vital measurements of customers manually (such as BMI, weight and height), the centre uses a smart scale machine that takes all these measurements automatically as soon as the customer steps on the scale and sends the information to the Salem system electronically.
Al Bustani said the service, which is paperless, requires no data entry and hence “has no errors”, is the first autonomous government service, and was launched in line with the UAE leadership’s vision of using AI in serving the public to achieve customer satisfaction among the residents of Dubai.
Dr Fadi Hatamleh, CEO Of Consol Gulf, which is the DHA’s strategic technology partner for the centre, said the partnership paves the way to the adoption of AI and IoT in every aspect of the medical industry, reducing costs and improving services.
UAE makes first-ever liver, lung transplants from deceased
The UAE has completed the first full liver transplant and first lung transplant, both from deceased donors this month, Khaleej Times has learned.
During a press conference held at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi on Tuesday, some of the world’s top organ transplant surgeons revealed that they have created history in the UAE by developing a comprehensive multi-organ transplant programme, which is already transforming patients’ lives.
Just this month, the hospital successfully conducted the country’s first full liver and lung transplants, both from deceased donors.
But this is not the first time the hospital made history in organ transplantation.
In December 2017, its surgeons performed the UAE’s first full heart transplant, while a team from the hospital successfully conducted one of the UAE’s first kidney transplants from a deceased donor in September 2017.
The hospital has now performed deceased donor transplants for four major organs – kidney, heart, liver and lung. Moreover, it is also the nation’s first and only multi-organ transplant facility, following the UAE government decree last year allowing transplants from deceased donors.
A new era in organ transplant
Dr Rakesh Suri, CEO of Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi, told Khaleej Times that the clinic has ushered a new era in multi-organ transplant in the UAE. “We preformed the first brain-dead donor transplant in September 2017, which was a kidney transplant.
“In the evening of December 5 2017, we identified a suitable match for one of our patients, who has been suffering with crippling heart failure for months. He was unable to work, he was unable to play or spend time with his children.”
Dr Suri said the patient had the surgery on the his seven-year-old child’s birthday. “I remember speaking to the patient before starting the heart transplant and I asked him how he was feeling.
“He said: ‘Pease help me, it’s my seven-year-old’s birthday today and I cannot be with my child, because I cannot breathe’.”
The patient’s only other option was to seek treatment abroad, waiting weeks or months, if not years. “He now has a brand new heart that is functioning remarkably well; he is back to his normal life, back to his family and work.”
The doctor stressed that the families of the donors have demonstrated the true meaning of selflessness by providing the life-saving organs, so that patients did not continue to suffer like their loved ones did.
“During the hour of sorrow that comes with the death of a relative, the families of donors stepped up. They did remarkable things. They showed selflessness and humanity.”
Hasan Al Nowais, Vice President of Mubadala Healthcare, said His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, has been personally following up on the patients. “This shows you that regardless of who the person is, he will definitely be on top of these cases, which is a huge sentiment to all of us.”
Sheikh Abdullah bin Mohammed Al Hamed, Chairman of the Department of Health, said he is immensely proud that the UAE has achieved such colossal medical milestones. He pointed out that the next step has to be supporting a robust culture of organ donation to make it easy for people to gift their organs.
“We are seeing the incredible impact that organ donation is having on multiple lives within the UAE, and are receiving regular inquiries from people looking to donate, so will work with our partners to make the process easier and more accessible.”
Dr Suri said the programme came to fruition in 2017, with the announcement of the diseased donor laws in the UAE. This led to the first brain-dead donor kidney transplant and heart transplant. Seamless partnership and trust between the various stakeholders has been key in insuring the success of organ transplantation, he noted.
Moreover, Dr Suri pointed out that the Abu Dhabi Police have also been tireless partners, insuring that the life-saving organs can be transported in critical times, through the country and even through the region.
How to become a donor
Dr Ali Abdulkareem Al Obaidli, Chair of the National Transplant Committee, told Khaleej Times that there is growing public support for organ donation in the UAE.
He said that a donor registry will soon be launched to allow people to register as donors, although no official date of the platform’s release was revealed.
“When people lose their lives in the ICU from bad injuries, up to 14 per cent of them can be donors because the death happens in circumstances where the other organs can be viable for the others.”
“But when we look at the general population, less than one per cent of the people who die can become suitable donors, because for the majority of people, death doesn’t occur in circumstances where other organs stay useful for others.”
Dr Al Obaidli said for the mean time, those who wish to become donors, should share their thoughts with family and friends.
“We are currently working on plans to extend this effort further through a community outreach programme. We already have been contacted by many people who have expressed an interest in donating their organs after they die.”
“Organ transplantation is more than medicine; it is in many aspects, part of humanity and charity”.
“One donor could save the life of up to eight people, and if we count the tissue, then it can be even more.”
New medical test centre for residence visas opens in Dubai
The Ministry of Health and Prevention (MOHAP) launched a medical examination Center for the issuance of residency visas and visa renewals at Dubai’s Ibn Battuta Mall, in partnership with Nakheel malls, to improve the clients’ journey and reduce waiting time by providing the best medical examination, electronic systems and smart technologies. The initiative forms part of the Ministry’s strategy to outsource health screening services to expatriate workers in partnership with the private sector.
Dr. Hussein Abdel-Rahman Al Rand, Assistant Undersecretary for Health Clinics and Centers, explained that the Ministry will take full and direct control over the work mechanism and results of tests by providing doctors and laboratory technicians and achieving enhanced speed and smoothness in the medical examination procedures.
They will apply all the requirements for health safety, which are in line with the criteria set by the Ministry of Health and Prevention, in addition to auditing accuracy of data and the results of the examination and reducing waiting time for customers by issuing fitness certificates in 48 hours. Results will be sent to the concerned authorities to complete the residence application.
The delivery time of the service, which includes administrative procedures and withdrawal of blood and conduct the required radiation, does not exceed 40 minutes.
Dubai: A total of 52 new health facilities were opened across the UAE during 2017 while 42 medical and pharmaceutical facilities were shut down.
The closure of the health facilities followed intensive campaigns by inspection teams of the Empowerment and Healthcare Compliance Department to ensure that medical establishments comply with the requirements for practising the profession.
The inspection campaigns detected a number of violations of safety standards for health and pharmaceutical establishments. These included the misuse of medicines and pharmaceuticals; non-compliance with engineering standards, hygiene and sterilisation instructions for medical devices; non-disposal of medical waste; and the absence of ventilation systems.
Dr Ameen Hussain Al Amiri, assistant undersecretary for Public Health Policy and Licensing at the Ministry of Health and Prevention and vice-chairman of the Medical Licensing Committee, stressed the ministry’s keenness to encourage investment in the health and pharmaceutical sector, and develop health systems, laws and standards to achieve the UAE vision.
The UAE’s health vision aims at offering the community health-care services in accordance with the highest international standards, and to work at a constant pace through ongoing inspection campaigns to ensure the commitment of health facilities to the systems and laws, Al Amiri said.