Zayed Higher Organization for People of Determination (ZHO), in cooperation with the Abu Dhabi Public Health Center (ADPHC) and its strategic health sector partners, has launched a telehealth programme for various categories of People of Determination registered in Abu Dhabi.

The programme aims to support these categories, their parents and those working with them as part of ZHO and ADPHC’s priorities for their health and safety in accordance with the highest quality standards. The programme also aims to educate them about telehealth services, achieving safe and speedy response to social conditions and variables stemming from the development of information technology, artificial intelligence applications and the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

Launching the telehealth services comes in implementation of the joint cooperation agreement between ZHO and ADPHC, geared towards enhancing well-being among People of Determination in Abu Dhabi by providing health and preventive services with the participation of public sector health service providers. These include having strategic partnerships with ZHO; House Call, Med Clinic, Burjeel Medical City, Berlin Medical & Neurological Rehabilitation and Reyada Home Health Care Services.

His Excellency Abdullah Abdul Ali Al Humaidan, ZHO’s Secretary-General, underlined the importance of launching the telehealth services programme in favour of various groups of People of Determination. The programme is an extension of ZHO’s services within the various care and rehabilitation system provided to these groups, driven by the strategic goals and common vision in connection with the social responsibility to achieve sustainable social development and build a sustainable healthy society, and in light of the efforts exerted in health coverage and humanitarian care for these groups.

In a statement, His Excellency Al Humaidan emphasised ZHO's keenness to tap into technological progress and artificial intelligence and the experiences in this area.

His Excellency Al Humaidan said: “Systematic planning for the scope of telehealth services, along with careful consideration of its various complex dimensions, contributes to identifying the extent of benefit from it, especially for people of determination and their families,” he said.

His Excellency Al Humaidan spoke highly of the ZHO-ADPHC cooperation that enhances the concepts of public health and preventive health in the emirate. His Excellency Al Humaidan also hailed the cooperation of care providers who have strategic partnerships with ZHO and others to engage in the programme for healthy and safe service access, appreciating the effective role of ADPHC and ZHO’s partners engaged in the initiative and their keenness to provide an integrated health care for people of determination.

His Excellency Matar Saeed Al Nuaimi, the Director-General of Abu Dhabi Public Health Centre, commended the launch of these services.

His Excellency Al Nuaimi said: “This pioneering initiative reflects the wise leadership's commitment to the health and safety of all members of our society including People of Determination. It confirms that Abu Dhabi and the United Arab Emirates are continuously developing healthcare services for them, utilising the latest technologies and methods to enhance efforts in increasing access and improving healthcare and preventive care through qualified medical and technical staff capable.

"We look forward to remote healthcare services contributing to enhancing the services provided to People of Determination in a way that achieves the leadership's goals and the centre’s vision toward healthy and safe society."

ADPHC has developed an action plan and timetable for carrying out the initiative by evaluating it and applying the service broadly in 2024, which will entail the launch of experimental stages, activation of tableware platforms to include People of Determination, and training of providers and beneficiaries during the last quarter of 2023 and the first two quarters of 2024.

This is in addition to the stages completed so far during the first two quarters of 2023, represented by collecting data, inventorying licensed and experienced health facilities, obtaining lists of People of Determination, and signing the agreement between ZHO and ABPHC.

The awareness and educational content will also be completed and developed and smart indicators will be collected for measuring outputs during the third quarter of 2023.

It should be noted that telehealth services are the health care provided via phone or online, along with telemedicines, and home visits when needed. Despite the many advantages of in-person visits to health centers, telehealth services are a valuable alternative when in-person visits are unsafe or unavailable. New technologies allow doctors to interact with their patients when they cannot or should not meet in person. Telehealth involves the use of phone calls, texts, or emails, as well as online visual communications and online platforms.