Malaffi, the region’s first Health Information Exchange (HIE) platform and strategic initiative of the Department of Health – Abu Dhabi (DoH), announced the launch of an image exchange solution, providing authorised clinicians secure access to radiology and diagnostic images as part of patients’ records in Malaffi. Ultimately, following a phased approach, two million radiology images from over 60 different healthcare sites across Abu Dhabi will be available through the exchange, including X-Rays, CT scans, MRIs, and ultrasound images.

Reiterating the Emirate’s position as a leader in healthcare, the availability of radiology images in Malaffi will ensure that providers have a holistic view of a patient’s records and are able to review and compare images from different visits and different timeframes. Image sharing between healthcare providers is an essential element of the clinical workflow – further solidifying an agile and robust healthcare infrastructure in Abu Dhabi. The time and effort spent retrieving radiology and diagnostic images from disparate systems poses a significant burden on patients and healthcare providers. A recent Malaffi users’ survey revealed that 90% of the clinicians agreed that it is very important for them to have access to the full archive of radiology images.

Secure access to radiology images is essential for clinicians to make better decisions to improve the delivery of high-quality, informed and effective patient care. It also reduces the need to duplicate expensive and invasive radiology investigations, which safeguards the patients from unnecessary radiation as well as reduces time and cost. Once all sites are connected, patients will no longer need to take hard copy scans and CDs to each appointment. Access to images is particularly important for surgeons, gynaecologists and obstetricians, internal medicine specialists and cancer care teams to have one holistic view of a patient’s medical history from appointments at multiple facilities.

Reem Hospital and nine hospitals part of NMC Healthcare are already connected and are sharing radiology images. These will be seamlessly available to all physicians that are authorised to use Malaffi, in addition to the written radiology reports that are already available in the platform.

H.E. Dr. Jamal Mohammed Al Kaabi, Undersecretary of the Department of Health – Abu Dhabi (DoH) said: “As we focus our efforts towards ensuring the availability of seamless operations across the sector, we are proud to witness the addition of another resourceful solution to Malaffi. The introduction of image exchange solution to the Malaffi Provider Portal will heavily contribute to the continuous development of a robust and fully digitalised healthcare sector in the Emirate. The availability of a unified viewing environment presents tremendous benefits to all stakeholders and resources across our ecosystem. This milestone reflects Abu Dhabi’s position as a leading destination for innovation and healthcare and everything in between.”

Robert Denson, Acting CEO at Malaffi said: “Ensuring that radiology images are part of the exchanged information is the latest string to Malaffi’s bow and part of our continuous efforts to improve the scope and clinical value of Malaffi and to offer a holistic view of patient records. As the first regional HIE, this innovative concept has further enhanced the position of Malaffi on the global map of most advanced HIEs. It was critical that we addressed these requirements to further add value to Malaffi’s users as it will significantly improve efficiency and smart use of expensive resources, enhancing the quality of care and patient outcomes and experiences.

Mark Adams, Interim CEO at NMC Healthcare said, “NMC Healthcare was one of the first groups to connect with Malaffi three years ago. Clinicians across more than 20 NMC facilities in Abu Dhabi have witnessed its value and benefits, helping with more accurate diagnosis and easier access to patients’ information. Medical imaging forms the bedrock of diagnosis, and with the addition of the image exchange solution Malaffi has taken further steps towards offering a comprehensive and holistic digital health ecosystem. When physicians share medical images, they can build better and deeper referral networks and more accurate diagnosis, increase efficiencies, save clinical time and track patient progress through their treatment journey. Thankfully, this is now available through Malaffi across Abu Dhabi.”

Naushad Mohammed, Director of IT at Reem Hospital said: “We are delighted to be among the first healthcare facilities to contribute to the image exchange solution provided by Malaffi. The implementation of world-class clinical care pathways is critical as we strive to become a leading and trusted hospital in the UAE. Our rehabilitation and multi-specialty hospital is dedicated to implementing avant-garde medical practices that are supported by advanced and cutting-edge technologies such as an image exchange solution. In doing so, we are also meeting the government’s agenda of gaining patients’ trust and loyalty, as well as contributing to better patient outcomes.”

According to Persistence Market Research, medical image exchange systems are expected to be adopted globally at a significant pace over the coming years due to the growing adoption of IoT in the healthcare industry. The Department of Health – Abu Dhabi (DOH) is an early adopter of this technology that is leading this global shift.