Emirates ID Will Now Store Residents' Health Data

Published February 1st, 2019 - 06:30 GMT
'Smart Health Card' will also carry medical data accessible across GCC. (KhT)
'Smart Health Card' will also carry medical data accessible across GCC. (KhT)

The Emirates ID card will soon carry health data of residents, including registration for those wishing to become organ donors. The Ministry of Health and Prevention (MoHAP) launched the initiative in coordination with the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship (FAIC) during the Arab Health Exhibition and Congress on Wednesday.

Dubbed 'Smart Health Card', it will include medical data of all residents that can be accessed by doctors across the Gulf Cooperation Council countries. It will initially be implemented in the ministry's hospitals and primary healthcare centres. The card will feature a smart chip that will have data about five aspects: Allergies, blood type, diagnosis, chronic disease and organ donation.

It will allow doctors to read the card holder's medical records in emergency cases, but they won't be able to add data, said Mabarakah Mubarak Ibrahim, director of the ministry's information technology department.

App makes it easy to donate organs

Residents can now register online as organ donors through the Hayat app that was launched by the Ministry of Health and Prevention (Mohap) on Wednesday.

The app will also be linked to the Emirates ID or Smart Health Card where donors will be shown as registered.

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In the past three days since the start of the Arab Health and launch of Hayat, the National Programme for Organ Donation, 26 people have shown interest, 23 have registered, and six have completed their registration (which includes nominating their next of kin), bringing the total number of donors to 55.

The app also shows the emirate where the registered donor resides. Of those who showed interest, two were from Sharjah, five were from Dubai, and three from Abu Dhabi.

Photo by Shihab

According to data from Mohap, the organs the donors wished to donate were lungs (22 people), liver (21), pancreas (21), kidney (24) and heart (23).

The app is available on the Apple App store and Android platforms. Residents can also register for organ donation on the ministry's website using their Emirates ID, name and telephone number.

Mabarakah Mubarak Ibrahim, director of the information technology department at the ministry, told Khaleej Times that donors can use the app initially to register using their Emirates ID card.

"This does not mean that they have become registered donors. An e-mail link will be sent to them, which is directed to a form they will have to complete to become a registered donor," she said.

She said that in the link, those interested in donating will have to nominate a next of kin and provide a contact number.

"After one's death, sometimes the family says they have no idea that their loved one had shown a desire to donate their organs. But once the family member is registered, we can confirm this," explained Mabarakah.

After the form is completed, the donor will have to sign the consent form online and accept the terms and conditions.

The registered information will also be accessible to doctors and hospitals, and during the time a transplant is needed, the app will make it easier for them to identify where the organ can be collected, said Mabarakah.

The donor will also have the option of specifying which organs he or she would like donate. The system gives the option of eight organs. "They can choose to donate all if they wish," she said.

The system uses the blockchain technology which ensures privacy. "No one will know who the donor is," said Mabaraka.

Videos honour transplant team

The first two videos of multi-organ donation and transplant from a deceased donor in the UAE, which took place in 2017, have been released by the Mohammed Bin Rashid University of Medicine and Health Sciences (MBRU) in Dubai Healthcare City.

This was done in conjunction with the launch of Hayat, the Ministry of Health and Prevention's (Mohap) online platform that allows individuals to register their willingness to be organ donors.

The unveiling of the videos highlights the first steps taken in the launch of the national programme for organ transplant  under the ministry and with the participation of various national health authorities and government and private entities, with the collaboration of the Saudi Centre for Organ Transplantation.

The launch of the videos aims to recognise the hard work of the team that saved the lives of several individuals with organ failure.

The videos highlight the first donation and transplant from a deceased donor in the UAE on July 15, 2017, where the deceased donated five organs, resulting in saving five lives.

The second multi-organ donation and transplant was carried out in the UAE on September 23, 2017, where four successful transplantations helped save four lives.

By Asma Ali Zain


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