The UAE Ministry of Health and Prevention (MOHAP) launched Prevention and Screening Unit as part of its ‘e-Etmnan’ program for regular screening of non-communicable diseases. This comes within the framework of MOHAP participation in Arab Health Exhibition & Congress (Arab Health 2019), which is being held between 28-31 January.
The Ministry is aiming to establish a preventive medical unity specialized in screening, to promote early detection of non-communicable diseases within 3 years. The unit will study the co-relation between risk factors and geographical, ethnic, and cultural factors through big data analytics. MOHAP also introduced treatment units equipped with state-of-the-art artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities, to suggest treatment regimens based on best clinical practices. These will become a reference point for the healthcare professionals. It will also allow organizing proactive campaigns, on both national and individual levels.
The unit will allow healthcare staff at the Ministry to access interactive analytics dashboards, to analyze risk factors data, gathered through necessary screening and diagnostic tests. The unit is also attached to a comprehensive clinic, allowing the healthcare staff to complete the patients’ preventive medical record, with a convenience to help boost their commitment to the preventive regimen.
His Excellency Dr. Hussein Al Rand, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Health for the Centers and Clinics, said: “launching this e-unit within ‘e-Etmnan’ program comes inline the Ministry's strategic efforts to fight non-communicable diseases within the next 5 years (2017 - 2021)”.
H.E. pointed that the project is an excellent addition to the preventive healthcare services, as the prevention and screening unit in “e-Etmnan” program will realize a shift in the healthcare focus form treatment to prevention, based on a predictive, preventive, personalized, and shared concept. It will also allow patients to conduct a yearly full scan in almost 20 minutes. The prevention and screening unit will employ a flexible system able to integrate quickly and deeply with the Heath Information Systems (HIS), as well as the National Unified Medical Record Program in the UAE.
Dr. Hussein mentioned that the study was conducted successfully on “e-Etmnan” program, during Q1 and Q2 of 2018, at the “Family Health Promotion Center” in Sharjah, scanning over 100 patients. More patients are participating in the screening, with their data being added to the current statistics. Additionally, screening helps reduce treatment costs through actions to help prevent the disease rather than treating it. The benefits of the program were proven after 5 years of implementation, as statistics in Belgium showed that for every 14 Euros spent on prevention, 5,000 - 6,000 Euros can be saved on treatment.
Dr. Haifa Hamad Fares, Head of the Ministry of Health and Prevention's Primary Health Care Programme Section, said: “Early detection makes treating diseases easier, more efficient and affordable, while allowing to categorize patients as per the best treatment.
The unit allows to assess the risks by analyzing the data gathered through a questionnaire. The questionnaire includes a number of interactive questions based on proven scientific studies, and World Health Organization guidelines.
Risk categories include cardiovascular diseases; diabetes types 1 & 2; cervical cancer; breast cancer; depression; chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; colon cancer; alcohol and drug addictions; as well as tips on healthy life style, smoking, abidance by treatment requirements, hearing test, osteoporosis, vitamin D deficiency, and vaccination.