Dubai healthcare centers to receive 3,000 Android tablets

One of the fastest growing cities in the world, the emirate of Dubai in the Persian Gulf is equipping hospital beds and waiting areas in all 14 of its primary healthcare centers, including hospitals and specialty centers, with 3,000 Android tablets, according to an article in the Arabian Gazette. The tablets are part of a broader Dubai Health Authority (DHA) initiative that includes an electronic medical records system, health information system and smart hospitals.

"The deployment of Android tablets across DHA healthcare entities is the first step in our plan to build 'smart hospitals' that will be integrated with the latest IT technology to enhance customer experience," Essa Al Maidoor, engineer and Director-General of the DHA, said in the article. 

The tablets are slated for 784 beds in Rashid Hospital, 712 beds in Dubai Hospital, 448 beds in Latifa Hospital and 119 beds in Hatta Hospital. DHA plans to add more tablets throughout its network of healthcare services in the later stages of the project.

"Patients will be able to browse information that is useful for them. This includes all DHA services, pharmacy services and other health services such as physiotherapy and rehabilitation services," said Faisal Ali Mousa, M.D., Chairman of FAM Holding, the Dubai company that will sponsor the Android tablets across DHA healthcare entities, in the article. 

This isn't DHA's first foray into mHealth. In 2011, the organization introduced internally-developed smartphone apps with health-related features.The apps allow users to view appointment details, check medical tests results and health card details. In addition, users can search a facility and check their Body Mass Index. The apps are available for all major smartphone platforms (Android, Blackberry, iOS, and Windows Mobile).

Later this year, DHA plans to introduce several more features in its existing smartphone apps, including the ability to view prescriptions and receive prescription alerts. The new features will also include details about healthcare packages available for the public aimed at women's health, smoking and diabetes.

In related news, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center's Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) in Los Angeles has put in place a program that allows mothers to visit with their infants and the medical team over a secured Internet connection using iPads. Called BabyTime, the program is designed to reduce fear and stress in an estimated 20 to 30 percent of mothers who undergo cesarean sections who are not well enough to travel from their bed in the labor and delivery unit to the NICU for the first 24 to 48 hours.

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