MOH News

Al-Rabiah: Digital Health Is Essential for Health Services Development
29 November 2020

​​​HE the Minister of Health and Chairman of the Saudi Health Council (SHC), Dr. Tawfik bin Fawzan Al-Rabiah, said that the Kingdom has deemed digital health a top priority for the development of health services in the Kingdom. A group of projects have been launched in this framework, including ‘Mawid’ application, which provides a central appointment reservation service. About 14 million people have signed up for this application, and more than 60 million appointments have been booked through it.​

The projects also include a telehealth/ virtual healthcare service through ‘Sehha’ application, which allows users to communicate with a doctor remotely. This is considered great progress in terms of health service provision to patients across the Kingdom. Noteworthy, this health service has been available for citizens for over two years.

In his speech on Sunday during the opening of the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) Conference and Exhibition held online in Riyadh, Dr. Al-Rabiah added that the conference would touch on the topic of digital healthcare transformation. It would play a central role in developing health services. Moreover, MOH has been working on applications to provide medications electronically, allowing users to receive a message and pick up their medicine from any pharmacy. 

This service was provided through ‘Wasfaty’ project, which has managed to increase the level of patient satisfaction, as well as remotely refinance prescriptions for those who need them. Other projects are underway, including ‘Nafees’ project, which includes an integrated health system and acts as a unified health file. The results of this project are expected to appear soon. It is a huge project that would take several years to be completed. Additionally, there are virtual clinics that are starting to be implemented during the pandemic. 

They will see more expansions very soon to allow communication with doctors by booking appointments and providing all patient data and any health information or tests that the patient needs to take.

MOH strives to unify its applications to create one application which allows access to all other health applications in the Kingdom through (Sehaty) application. It is expected to be launched by the beginning of 2021. Moreover, artificial intelligence will be playing an active role in creating a paradigm shift, by connecting various devices using technology in digital health.

Dr. Al-Rabiah concluded his speech by saying that MOH believes that digital health will make a huge difference in providing health services. It is one of the main pillars of transformation to which the Ministry gives great attention within the health sector.

For his part, the Secretary General of the Saudi Health Council, Dr. Nahar bin Mazki Al-Azimi, said that holding this conference completes the role played by the Council, through formulating integrated health policies and creating coordination between the health sectors in the Kingdom, as well as synergy between the Kingdom's 2030 vision and the transformative strategic directions in the health sector. This aims to review current challenges, visions and ideas about future plans, in addition to potential solutions in the field of health care at regional and international levels. 

The novel Coronavirus pandemic has prompted health authorities to adjust their operations, run their work faster, deploy fast-tracking technology, and increase the number of remote health services. These health authorities have also encouraged their employees to work remotely. Many lessons were learned in terms of using digital health to predict, manage, and prevent future crises. Furthermore, the Kingdom has made strenuous efforts to challenge the repercussions of COVID-19 in the Kingdom and take the necessary measures to limit its spread and mitigate its health and economic effects.

Noteworthy, over 22,000 people have participated in the conference, and over 10,000 people attended its opening.

Last Update : 30 November 2020 08:33 AM
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