As communications becomes recognised as a critical element to improving patient care in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and globally, companies like Alcatel-Lucent are making this a reality by delivering dynamic communication solutions right into the path of patient care.
Alcatel-Lucent has confirmed its participation as ‘Gold Partner’ in the first Kingdom Healthcare Expansion and Investment Summit to be held in Jeddah, KSA from November 15th – 16th, 2009.
The summit - organised by Business Information Company, naseba – will be held at The Hilton, Jeddah and aims to bring medical experts, government officials and top thinkers together to assess the future of healthcare in the country and tap into opportunities in private healthcare construction.
According to several media reports, population growth, a slow aging society and the health consequences of a better standard of living - such as obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and even cancer – will create a huge demand for new healthcare services in the country. At present, the Saudi Arabian government funds most of the demands for healthcare capital and operating expenditures. However, the government has recognised that it will not be able to meet this demand alone, identifying healthcare as one of the key factors targeted in its wide-ranging privatisation program.
According to Alcatel-Lucent, communication has become a strategic asset for successful healthcare transformation, with new requirements for healthcare professionals to communicate in real-time from multiple locations.
According to Gabriel Karam, Channel Sales Director for Enterprise Solutions at Alcatel-Lucent: “Healthcare systems must evolve from an Information Technology (IT) centric approach to a communications-centric approach based on Information and Communication Technology (ICT). Historically, the concept of patient care has been based on physically bringing the clinicians and other experts together, or to where the information or medical device resided. This usually meant the patient’s bedside.”
Gabriel Karam also explained that by using ICT, patients and medical care experts could share a real-time flow of information and knowledge through clinical and administrative workflows, dramatically reducing time between a patient event and its outcome. “The latest developments from Alcatel-Lucent would allow patients and medical care experts to communicate with mobile devices, mobile laptops, Voice over IP (VoIP), internet via 3G, wired or wireless means, networks, pagers, wireless data cards and more. For example, physicians can now take advantage of receiving a computed tomography (CT) scan in less than a minute on a mobile phone. Nurses carrying mobile devices may now be able to be in direct contact with patients via text messages. Lab work can now also be accessed through the web, meaning that patients from rural areas will see their travel time to specialists reduced,” he added.
With ICT in mind, Alcatel-Lucent is involved in the Center for Connected Medicine where collaboration with other companies such as University of Pittsburgh Medical Centre (UPMC), Cerner, IBM, Google Health, RIM, Turner Construction, Johnson Controls, dbMotion and Polycom is focused on providing better and more accurate health care solutions which advance the delivery of patient care.
In a telehealth and disease-management setting, Alcatel-Lucent offers its TeleHealth Manager (THM) solution. This remote patient monitoring platform provides an easy way for patients to measure physiological data such as blood glucose levels and blood pressure readings and securely transmit and share it with their personal caregivers and healthcare teams. In addition, TeleHealth Manager offers health care providers a cost-effective combination of health monitoring, medical alerts and secure access to collected data.
Karam concluded: “Alcatel-Lucent brings healthcare organisations more than 100 years of communications expertise. This history and depth of experience has helped us understand how mobility can benefit every aspects of the clinical workflow.”
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