Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 25 May 2020

Coronavirus: hundreds of Covid-19 patients in Abu Dhabi receive home care as part of online scheme

Mubadala Healthcare has enrolled more than 1,500 patients, and is ramping up capacity to reach 2,000 more in the coming weeks

A major Abu Dhabi healthcare provider has begun treating some Covid-19 patients at home in an effort to ease the strain on medical facilities during the pandemic.

Mubadala Healthcare is caring for hundreds of people who are asymptomatic or have milder symptoms through telemedicine and home visits through its Remote Care application.

The app has enrolled more than 1,500 patients since it was launched four weeks ago in partnership with the Abu Dhabi Centre for Public Health, and is ramping up capacity to reach 2,000 more in the coming weeks.

Dr Shereena Al Mazrouei, of ADPHC, called it "a proactive step" that is "part of a longer-term sustainable strategy to ensure that we have the capacity available at any given time to provide the essential care that our citizens and residents may need".

Mubadala Healthcare began discharging asymptomatic and milder cases four weeks ago from Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Khalifa Medical City and other public and private hospitals in Abu Dhabi to receive care at home.

The programme can be extended to confirmed positive cases in other hospitals who have been evaluated and referred by the healthcare authorities, according to Mubadala.

The initiative "enables Covid-19 patients who meet rigorous home isolation criteria and are asymptomatic or with mild symptoms to be monitored and have access to a healthcare team around the clock, while recovering in the comfort of their homes”, Dr Al Mazrouei said.

A patient that receives a positive Covid-19 test will be contacted to receive a medical assessment to determine if they qualify for the remote care scheme.

If so, they will be assigned a case manager to co-ordinate their care and ensure that their current healthcare needs are being met. The home care plan includes virtual or home visits from nurses or physicians, and lab tests as required.

The service is being provided by Abu Dhabi Telemedicine Centre (ADTC) and Amana Healthcare, a UAE health services company acquired by Mubadala Healthcare in January.

"Each patient receives teleconsultations by a Mubadala Healthcare caregiver and will is monitored through the Department of Health’s remote healthcare digital platform," Hasan Jasem Al Nowais, senior vice president at Mubadala Healthcare, said.

"This ensures patients follow the necessary isolation measures to keep other members of the family safe."

He added that the programme is expected "to immediately free up hospital beds for those requiring more intensive levels of care.”

Telemedicine has transitioned from a niche healthcare service to a critical lifeline as the world confronts the coronavirus.

Individuals seeking advice on Covid-19, or who are avoiding health facilities amid the pandemic and need access to care for other reasons, have flocked to digital consultations with public health ministries, hospitals, pharmacies and clinics all taking part.

In the UAE, these consultations are increasingly being covered by insurance providers, becoming a more affordable and convenient option.

Among other steps, Mubadala Healthcare has already established on-site and drive-through screening centres at its facilities, increased laboratory testing capacity for Covid-19, expanded telemedicine services across its facilities and activated its pharmaceutical delivery.

“We will continue to seek ways in which we can leverage our considerable expertise to support the government and UAE to overcome the current Covid-19 challenges wherever possible,” Mr Al Nowais said.

Updated: May 19, 2020 03:50 PM

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