Jad Aoun, Chief Medical Officer, Daman
The National Health Insurance Company- Daman, the leading health insurance company in the region, released promising results from an initial clinical evaluation into the company’s revolutionary Disease Management Program (DMP) , under Daman’s Health Support Department, that offers hope for those suffering from chronic diseases.
Under the umbrella of Daman’s Health Support Department (HSD), the DMP was initiated in May 2009 and has since developed into a full-fledged division of the company. It aims to assist people suffering from chronic conditions to help them manage their day-to-day lifestyle and lead a better quality of life. Under the DMP mandate, program participants - those suffering from chronic conditions- work closely with dedicated health coaches who are available
to help them better their condition by training, telecoaching (telephone calls once a month) and telemonitoring.
Daman’s Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Michael Bitzer, commented: “We undoubtedly anticipated a high success rate on this program; nevertheless, such positive results at such an early stage have far exceeded our expectations.”
The DMP currently offers two specialized programs – one for those who suffer type 2 diabetes mellitus and obesity, and a second for asthma. These two diseases were specifically chosen based on their impact and risk to the local community in the UAE. According to World Health Organisation (WHO), in year 2000, an estimated 15.2 million people in the Mid-East were detected with diabetes. This number will most likely increase to 42.6 million by 2030, without proper lifestyle intervention and provision of appropriate healthcare systems. According to WHO, diabetes-related deaths are expected to double from 2005 to 2030. DMPs are an essential tool to help bring this anticipated figure of deaths down. Daman has revealed plans to soon launch a third maternity management program.
Since the inception of the DMP, Daman has reached out to over 26,000 diabetic and obese patients; out of which, roughly 10,000 were eligible for enrollment into the related diabetes and obesity division. Currently, 2,500 participants are registered in the program and are working closely with assigned medical coaches.
The asthma division of the DMP has also proven to be as successful, targeting patients suffering from inflammation of the airway passages. Daman’s Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Jad Aoun, commented: “Our research indicates that nearly 50 percent of the 70,000 asthma sufferers whom we contacted are children. Currently, 140 members are registered in the asthma division of the program, and the number is increasing rapidly.”
All DMP health coaches are trained and fully qualified to communicate with health providers and physicians. In addition, these coaches are able to act as quality control advocates for patients, ensuring that all physicians are adhering to international health guidelines and standards.
Through this diabetes and obesity initiative, over 20 nationalities have been targeted. “We have an international coaching team working with us. Our research shows that patients often feel at ease around members sharing similar cultural backgrounds, and we have done our best to accommodate this requirement of patients,” explains Dr. Bitzer.