During GITEX Global 2022, Abu Dhabi Health Services Company (SEHA) and Cisco announced the successful completion of their pilot project to provide teleconsultation solutions and digitized healthcare services. The pilot aims to improve access to healthcare for patients and enable quicker and easier consultation for clinicians.

SEHA is the largest healthcare organization in the UAE with an extensive network of eleven healthcare facilities located in the Abu Dhabi region and more than sixty clinics nationwide. Annually, SEHA serves more than five million patients and visitors across the country.

As part of Cisco’s Country Digital Acceleration (CDA) program, the pilot was designed and implemented with the objective  of creating a virtual network of SEHA specialists irrespective of which SEHA Healthcare Facility (HCF) location they are based in. Patients and clinicians in remote areas can access virtual consultation sessions to enable quicker and easier consultation and diagnosis without the need to physically visit the specialist. 

This pilot enabled SEHA’s vision to improve the experience for patients and clinicians alike by decreasing waiting times and minimizing travel – especially for patients in rural areas.

The project utilises advanced networking, security and collaboration technologies, and capabilities like autonomous robotics, digital medical carts, and wearables, to scale medical coverage and reduce physical contact.

At the heart of the solution, is the highly secure Cisco network that SEHA deployed that connects all SEHA sites. Powered by Cisco’s collaboration technologies, patients and SEHA clinicians use the collaboration solution, Cisco Webex, to virtually connect and communicate. Specialists are enabled to review live patient vitals with the help of biomedical devices and peripherals, similar to onsite consultation, and deliver instant medical expertise and quality patient care irrespective of geographic distance.

The pilot also helped enable SEHA to test several medical use cases, including remote ward rounds, remote patient discharge, tele-stroke diagnostics, providing remote specialist for emergency departments, and more. 

Saeed Jaber Al Kuwaiti, Group Chief Executive Officer, SEHA, said: “Embracing innovation and adoption of new technologies have been the cornerstone of SEHA’s commitment to elevating delivery of superior healthcare, with patients at the heart of everything we do. At SEHA, strategic partnerships and decisions are being made in line with the most recent technological advances, especially to improve patient access. Our collaboration with Cisco helps us to deliver enhanced results through scaled specialist resources, safer and more convenient modes of communication, and faster, multi-disciplinary treatment for our patients.

This collaboration is a significant addition to our previous and continued efforts to enhance access to healthcare, such as setting up teleconsultation services for mental health that resulted in over 200 patients in the Al Dhafra Region alone receiving virtual therapy. SEHA will continue to be a strong advocate for enhancing patient access and improving health equity across the UAE.”

Abdelilah Nejjari, Managing Director of Cisco for the Gulf region, said: “Digitization is shaping the future of healthcare, and according to a study from the Boston Consulting Group, 41% of residents in the UAE turned to telemedicine solutions in 2021. As the UAE continues to pioneer healthcare excellence, underpinned by investments in technology, this is an exciting project that demonstrates Cisco’s commitment to the country’s digital transformation and innovation agenda.”

Cisco's CDA program is a strategic partnership with governments worldwide to accelerate their national digitalization agendas and create new value for the country, its businesses, and citizens. The program taps into the power of private and public partnerships across a variety of sectors, including national infrastructure, education, and smart businesses and communities, to bring digital solutions to national challenges. Digitalization initiatives that are rolled out are made into replicable solutions to cross-pollinate and contribute to Cisco's wider CDA ecosystem which is currently present across 44 countries globally.