Dubai: Clinical laboratories under the Ministry of Health and Prevention (MOHAP) have now been digitalised, “considerably” reducing the turnaround time in generating results and increasing their accuracy.
Speaking to XPRESS, Dr Gurdeep Dhatt, chief medical officer of Pure Health which is leading the ministry’s digitalisation drive, said the healthcare IT solutions provider had taken over the operations of 81 labs and sample collection centres under the ministry.
Digitalisation has resulted in standardising reference ranges
These labs and centres are located in Dubai, Sharjah, Ras Al Khaimah, Fujairah and Umm Al Quwain.
“We now have the largest lab network in the country covering labs in 16 hospitals and 66 primary health centres. The digitalisation of these facilities has not only resulted in standardising the reference ranges across the network, but also increased efficiencies in terms of speed and quality of results. The time frame required to process the results has also been reduced,” he said.
According to Dr Dhatt, the network hinges on a hub and spoke model, with four hubs located at Dubai, Sharjah, Ras Al Khaimah and Fujairah equipped with an automated, 24/7 tracking system.
He said the digitisation process connects all ministry labs and sample collection centres to one main source channel. The current capacity of the system is seven million tests per annum. “We plan to bring in new technology with 600 more tests soon. They will include molecular tests for infectious diseases and genetic tests for the future.”
“Pure Health will have in place the UAE’s largest test menu of in-house testing and state-of-the-art automation, which will facilitate efficiency. It will also ensure a reduced number of tests being sent abroad thereby reducing risk factors and rectification time in test results,” he added.
He said the biggest advantage of the new system is that it enables a patient’s medical history to be saved at a common data centre, which can be accessed by all healthcare providers and hospitals in the network.
Dr Dhatt said as part of the process, Pure Health has installed over 120 instruments ranging from small, bedside point-of-care to large systems across hospitals.
“We are also building a strong team of professionals to work across the network to provide clinical advice and consultation. We currently have over 400 doctors, clinical scientists, technogists, technicians and phlebotomists working at Pure Health,” added Dr Dhatt.