Hill-Rom expands digital health capabilities in new global collaboration with Microsoft

Hill-Rom (NYSE: HRC), a global medical technology company, announced on January 8, a collaboration with Microsoft to bring advanced, actionable point-of-care data and solutions to caregivers and healthcare provider organizations.

Hill-Rom, a global medical technology company, announced on January 8, a collaboration with Microsoft to bring advanced, actionable point-of-care data and solutions to caregivers and healthcare provider organizations.

The combined offerings, using Microsoft Azure®, are intended to dynamically analyze real-time sensing data from medical devices and historical medical record information, and communicate potential patient risk and hospital protocol actions directly to caregivers at the point of care.

The solutions combine Hill-Rom’s deep clinical knowledge and streaming operational data from medical devices, and Microsoft’s cloud, including Azure® IoT and Azure® Machine Learning, to help drive enhanced patient outcomes. The Hill-Rom® digital solution offerings will be available to hospitals beginning later in 2019.

“Information and connectivity are critical to providing quality healthcare, reducing length of stay, driving efficiencies across the healthcare continuum and providing clinical and economic value,” said Hill-Rom President and CEO John Groetelaars. “Our collaboration with Microsoft will help clinicians identify, communicate and mitigate patient risk in real-time, advancing our vision of connected care to address customer challenges and enhance patient outcomes.”

Hill-Rom’s connected solutions will integrate data from the company’s medical devices (including smart hospital bed systems, vital signs monitors and other connected devices) and hospitals’ electronic medical records through a common gateway infrastructure.

The combination of medical device data and Azure Machine Learning will help assess and analyze critical and secure information at the bedside, delivering actionable insights to clinicians that can help reduce costly complications and enhance efficiency and patient outcomes.

In addition to localized and cloud-based patient risk identification and communications, the collaboration with Microsoft offers hospitals simplified installation, integration, information security and support while enabling scalability and flexibility for IT departments across the globe.

“Microsoft’s AI capabilities make Azure an ideal platform for Hill-Rom’s new digital offerings. The powerful combination of Hill-Rom’s proven applications with Azure will help empower organizations across all industries, and especially in the health market,” Chris Sakalosky, Vice President, US Health & Life Sciences, Microsoft Corp.

Original news can be found at: thearabhospital.com

NMC Healthcare reveals plan for new Sharjah hospital

NMC Healthcare has announced plans to expand its network in Sharjah with a multi-specialty hospital in the Al Khan neighborhood of the emirate.

The hospital is expected to start operations by the end of 2019, the London listed company said in a statement.

It added that the 70-bed hospital includes a total of 20 consultation rooms, pre and post-operative rooms, triage centre, emergency room, labour and delivery suites, ICU, MRI, CT scanner, laboratory and pharmacy.

The hospital will also house centres of excellence and clinics such as obstetrics and gynaecology, paediatrics, orthopaedics, ophthalmology, gastroenterology, urology, endocrinology, ENT, internal medicine, family medicine, dentistry, general surgery.

Prasanth Manghat, CEO and executive director NMC Health, said: “We are having a prominent presence in Sharjah, first with Al Zahra Hospital, the country’s foremost private sector hospital, and then with our network of over 15 medical centres. This new hospital would not only cater to the underserved community of 25,000 families residing nearby but would also serve as a bridge between our medical centres and the tertiary care provider.”

NMC Health has an international network of healthcare facilities in the UAE and GCC, US, Europe and South America consisting of over 200 facilities across 19 countries, catering to about 8.5 million patients per year.

Original news can be found at: arabianbusiness.com

Mohammed-Ali-Al-Shorafa-Al-Hammadi

Abu Dhabi firm acquires Saudi dental group in $136m deal

Abu Dhabi-based United Eastern Medical Services (UEMedical) has acquired a controlling stake in Al Muhaideb Dental Clinics Group.

In a deal worth $136 million (AED500m), UEMedical increased its asset to $812m (AED3bn), adding to its portfolio that also includes Danat Al Emarat Hospital for Women & Children Hospital, Moorfields Eye Hospital Abu Dhabi. The firm also owns HealthPlus Network of Specialty Centres.

Established in 2000, Al Muhaideb Dental Clinics Group includes 46 Dental centres – in Riyadh, Jeddah, Abha, Mecca and Al Qassim – providing care for over 500,000 patients annually with 1,417 healthcare professionals employed.

Mohammed Ali Al Shorafa Al Hammadi, CEO and managing director of UEMedical, said the acquisition is line with the company’s strategy and expansion plans regionally.

“This step is part of the group’s strategy to spread its expertise to neighbouring countries and to diversify the range of specialized services the group provides to the community in the UAE and in the GCC,” he said.

“As we further extend our geographic footprint in UAE and the region, our strategic plans include expanding our existing facilities, establishing new facilities; and acquiring facilities that widen our spectrum of services, working with key players in the region,” he added.

Al Shorafa said UEMedical plans to open a HealthPlus fertility centre in Jeddah this June, and another centre in Riyadh.

“We will also acquire more medical centres in Saudi Arabia over the next few months,” he said.

Original news can be found at: arabianbusiness.com

WHO releases 10 recommendations on digital health interventions to improve care

by Heather Landi | Apr 17, 2019 – The World Health Organization developed a digital health guideline with 10 recommendations for how health systems can use digital health technology to improve people’s health.

The World Health Organization (WHO) released a new list of recommendations Wednesday offering guidance on how the global healthcare industry can use digital health technology accessible via mobile phones, tablets and computers to improve people’s health and essential services around the world.

“Harnessing the power of digital technologies is essential for achieving universal health coverage,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, M.D., said in a press release. “Ultimately, digital technologies are not ends in themselves; they are vital tools to promote health, keep the world safe, and serve the vulnerable.”

The list of 10 recommendations is based on a “critical evaluation of the evidence on emerging digital interventions that are contributing to health system improvements” and is the result of a two-year-long research project by WHO on digital technologies, including consulting with global experts, to produce recommendations on how such tools may be used for maximum impact. For example, the WHO guideline points to the potential to improve civil registrations and vital statistics by enabling birth and death notifications via mobile devices as this can help to reach under-registered populations.

The guideline also recommends implementing provider-to-provider and patient-to-provider telemedicine services to address patients’ accessibility to health facilities and providers, particularly in underserved communities. WHO officials point out that telemedicine is a valuable complement to face-to-face-interactions, but should not replace them entirely. It is also important that consultations are conducted by qualified health workers and that the privacy of individuals’ health information is maintained, WHO said.

For each recommendation, WHO provides an overview of the evidence on the digital intervention and implementation considerations.

According to WHO officials, one digital intervention already having positive effects in some areas is sending reminders to pregnant women to attend antenatal care appointments and having children return for vaccinations. Other digital approaches that WHO reviewed include decision support tools to guide health workers as they provide care and enabling individuals and health workers to remotely communicate and consult on health issues.

“Digital health is not a silver bullet,” Bernardo Mariano, WHO’s chief information officer, said in a statement. “WHO is working to make sure it’s used as effectively as possible. This means ensuring that it adds value to the health workers and individuals using these technologies, takes into account the infrastructural limitations and that there is proper coordination.”

The guideline builds on WHO’s ongoing focus on digital health as it released an eHealth strategy toolkit in 2012 and also developed an mHealth assessment and planning for scale (MAPS) toolkit (PDF) focused on scaling up mobile health innovations.

In 2018, a World Health Assembly resolution called on WHO to develop a global strategy on digital health to support national efforts to achieve universal health coverage. That strategy is scheduled to be considered at the World Health Assembly in 2020.

WHO also developed an online global technology registry platform, called a digital health atlas, to better coordinate digital health activities around the world and provide access to current best practices in digital health.

The guidelines stress the importance of providing supportive environments for training, dealing with unstable infrastructure, as well as policies to protect the privacy of individuals, and governance and coordination to ensure these tools are not fragmented across the health system.

Original news can be found at fiercehealthcare.com

Yelzhan-Birtanov

Kazakh health ministry to increase healthcare industry oversight, increase access to healthcare

BY ZHANNA SHAYAKHMETOVA in NATION on 3 APRIL 2019 – The Ministry of Healthcare plans to establish a committee to better ensure the quality and safety of public health and pharmaceutical related products and services, reported Minister Yelzhan Birtanov at an April 2 press conference in the capital.

“We will collaborate with the Atameken National Chamber of Entrepreneurs… First of all, we plan to revise all national standards for the provision of services. The standards for the provision of services, technical regulations to the standards of goods not only for food, but also for household, perfumery, toys and other things should comply with international standards,” he said.

All related laboratories will the required to receive international certification.

The effort also seeks to provide more information to the public about goods and services.

“We want to switch to a digital notification system so that the market can decide who meets the standards and who does not. Due to lack of transparency, people do not know what violations exist in a particular enterprise or product. We are working in this direction in recent years. Our regional committees publish information in case of detection of violations. Transparency is essential,” he said.

The ministry also recently approved a primary health care action plan for 2019-2020.

Last year, 1,315 primary care physicians and 79 paediatric offices were opened. Part of the goal is to provide sufficient access to doctors in the Aktobe, Zhambyl and West Kazakhstan regions.

This year, more than 5,000 doctors, including 1,515 primary care physicians will graduate from medical institutions. This will cover the shortage of primary healthcare personnel.

According to the ministry, 214 facilities were commissioned and 31 percent of these by means of private investment over the past two years. It is planned to open 595 primary healthcare facilities worth more than 120 billion tenge (US$315 million) in the next three years. More than half of the facilities will be launched as part of a public-private partnership. Some 228 facilities will be reconstructed and more than 11,000 units of medical equipment will be provided.

The management programme of major chronic diseases has also been expanded.

A staged salary increase by 20 percent for 36,000 medical workers is expected and 5.3 billion tenge (US$13.9 million) will be provided.

Birtanov spoke about the launch of primary healthcare digitisation.

“All the health organisations in cities and regional centres were provided with access to the internet and medical information systems. Paperless medical records have been introduced in 99 percent of organisations. More than two million people use mobile apps for patients. As a result, visits to hospitals were reduced two-fold and queues decreased by 60 percent,” he said.

The ministry set task to reduce meningitis and measles. The trainings were held in the medical institutions. The committee for the protection of public health organises the campaign on prevention and vaccination among the population.

The level of health shows that people do not pay much attention to this issue and expect more from medical workers. Due to this “incentives are aimed at prevention, vaccination.”

“We made a decision to expand measles vaccination. In addition to vaccinating children twice, we moved the terms by nine months. We started to get vaccinated earlier as the children are born from unvaccinated mothers without immunity and to reduce the risk. We also started vaccinating young mothers and purchased additional vaccines,” the minister noted.

Original news can be found at astanatimes.com

Stem cell storage firm CryoSave opens Dubai facility

arabianbusiness.com – Dubai Healthcare City has announced an increase in stem cell banking services with the opening of CryoSave Arabia’s laboratory that can store a million samples.

Stem cell storage enables the safe-keeping of master cells – cells that can self-renew and help treat dozens of conditions including blood disorders, cancer, and cerebral palsy.

CryoSave Arabia in DHCC is the only private facility in the region licenced to collect, process, test and cryogenically store stem cells from different sources, a statement said.

CryoSave Arabia has launched a Cost-Free Stem Cell Programme, enabling access to stem cell banking for families in need. The facility plans to enrol nearly 200 children in its first year.

Expectant families may be eligible if a family member has been diagnosed with certain cancers, such as leukaemia, or blood, immune, and metabolic disorders, such as sickle cell anaemia, which may require a stem cell transplant.

Families may also qualify if their newborn is at risk for a medical condition, such as cerebral palsy and autism, for which stem cells are currently investigated as a potential treatment option.

Omar Oumeish, executive director of Dubai Healthcare City Authority, the governing body of the free zone, said: “With CryoSave Arabia’s new technologically-advanced lab, more families and medical providers will have access to advanced stem cells banking not only in the UAE but also in the region.

“We believe that stem cells will play a very important role in future medicine and will benefit so many children in our community at risk for certain diseases. Our vision is that this program will inspire other medical institutions to follow and make preserving stem cells the standard of care for all newborns.”

A growing body of published data suggests that a child’s stem cells from the umbilical cord may play an essential role in helping the body repair damage to nerve and brain tissue.

Mai Ibrahim, chief operating officer and lab director, CryoSave Arabia said: “Opening our new laboratory was an important step for stem cell storage in the Middle East. Due to unprecedented demand, we needed to vastly increase our storage facilities as more and more families become aware of the importance of stem cells in the fight against a whole range of diseases.”

Original news can be found at arabianbusiness.com

New $81m hospital set to open in Ajman

Saudi German Hospitals Group says 200-bed hospital in Ajman will commence operations soon.

22 March, 2019 – arabianbusiness.com – Saudi German Hospitals Group, one of the largest private hospital groups in the MENA region, said on Tuesday it is set to open a new AED300 million ($81 million) healthcare facility in Ajman.

The tertiary-care speciality and sub-speciality facility will be the biggest hospital in Ajman, designed to cater to the growing population across all northern emirates.

Spanning over 41,062 square metres, the 200-bed hospital will commence operations soon, the company said in a statement.

With 46 clinics and over 20 specialities, Saudi German Hospital, Ajman, will be the group’s third healthcare facility in the UAE, and 10th across the MENA region.

Dr Reem Osman, CEO of Saudi German Hospitals Group – UAE, said: “Saudi German Group has a very well-thought out expansion programme to reach out to maximum number of patients in the UAE and the new state-of-the-art facility in Ajman is part of the plan.

“With two hospitals successfully running in Dubai and Sharjah, we aim to simulate the same international standards in SGH-Ajman that we have adopted in our other facilities.”

Osman added: “The hospital is the first phase of our expansion; in the second phase, we plan to build centres of excellence, medical colleges and staff accommodation, among other features. Together they will make up the Batterjee Medical City, work for which has already begun in Dubai.”

Original news can be found at arabianbusiness.com

Diseases cost Africa $2.4 trillion a year

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that nearly 630 million years of healthy life were lost in 2015 due to the diseases afflicting the population across its 47 Member States in Africa, now amounting to a loss of more than 2.4 trillion international dollars ($) from the region’s gross domestic product value annually.

March 29, 2019 – ITNewsAfrica – Non-communicable diseases have overtaken infectious diseases as the largest drain on productivity, accounting for 37 per cent of the disease burden. Other culprits for lost healthy years are communicable and parasitic diseases; maternal, neonatal and nutrition-related conditions; and injuries.

Around 47%, or $ 796 billion, of this lost productivity value, could be avoided in 2030 if the Sustainable Development Goals related to these health conditions are achieved, WHO found.

“Four years into the implementation of countries’ efforts towards achieving UHC, current average expenditure on health in the Region falls short of this expectation,” the WHO Regional Director for Africa, Dr Matshidiso Moeti, writes in the foreword to A Heavy Burden: The Productivity Cost of Illness in Africa, which was launched during the second WHO Africa Health Forum this week in Cabo Verde.

As a target of Sustainable Development Goal 3, universal health coverage would require countries in the WHO African Region to spend, on average, at least $ 271 per capita per year on health, or 7.5% of the region’s gross domestic product.

According to United Nations Conference on Trade and Development estimates, attaining the 17 Sustainable Development Goals will require spending ranging from $ 1.5 trillion to $ 2.5 trillion per year until 2030, or up to $ 37.5 trillion. Low-income countries will need an additional $ 671 billion dollars ($ 76 per capita on average) until 2030 to attain the health-related Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).

To achieve the health-related SDG targets, countries must invest adequately in the development of resilient national and local health systems to effectively, affordably and efficiently deliver the integrated packages of proven cost-effective interventions contained in relevant programmatic global strategies and plans to target populations in need.

The findings of the WHO study on disease burden suggest that health systems strengthening should focus on rich as well as poor countries and on all ages as well as on the specific disease categories.

Five countries (the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Nigeria, South Africa and the United Republic of Tanzania) accounted for almost 50% of the total years lost in healthy life (or DALYs) accrued in the WHO African Region.

The unpredictability of public revenues combined with mounting debt pressure is limiting the potential fiscal space that can be made available for health. Private financing sources have filled the gap, but either with out-of-pocket expenses that result in financial hardship or insufficient voluntary private health insurance that is not effective in extending service coverage to those that need it.

As the report emphasizes, achieving the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030, including the target of universal health coverage, will require political will and a greater focus on government-led planning and financing for health. It will also necessitate greater outlays from public revenue, reforms to raise additional revenue and strategic purchasing mechanisms. And it will require that people usually left behind be put at the centre of health financing reform.

“This report illustrates how achievement of the critical health SDG targets, including universal health coverage, would contribute to poverty eradication efforts on a large scale, reduce disparities in lifespan, tackle social exclusion and promote political stability and economic development in the WHO African Region,” explains Grace Kabaniha, Health Economist in the WHO Regional Office for Africa. “It also provides much-needed evidence that ministries of health can use in dialogue on resource allocation with ministries of finance. It adds to the body of evidence showing that health is a strategic investment for development.”

Edited by Daniëlle Kruger at:
ITNewsAfrica.com

Africa Healthcare Network secures funding to expand care centers for kidney patients

ImpactAlpha, March 14 – Africa Healthcare Network (AHN) runs a network of low-cost dialysis clinics for kidney patients in Rwanda and Tanzania. It has raised an undisclosed amount of Series A funding from healthcare investment firm Asia Africa Investment and Consulting and existing investor Polaris Partners to build new centers and launch in Kenya.

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