Our Biology Pre-Med students’ poster has been selected among the top 20 posters for the Future Doctors Program at Arab Health 2023. Here is the link to the program: Future doctors program | Arab Health 2023 (arabhealthonline.com). The poster will be displayed on an LED screen in the Future Doctors Zone (in the exhibition area) across four days. Join us there!
The Continued Evolution of Telehealth: A Cross-sectional Study of Attitudes and Perceptions toward Telehealth
Elias Hajjar, Marita Machrekeki, Jessica Swesa, BS in Biology, Pre-Med Students, Department of Biological and Physical Sciences, American University in Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Delivery of healthcare virtually through information and telecommunication technology has expanded greatly in the COVID-19 era. Telehealth can be used for diagnosis, treatment, monitoring, and training. This provides accessibility to patients at home and allows post-acute patients to recover at home rather than stay in the hospital. Growing acceptance of this mode of healthcare has increased the likelihood that telehealth use will continue to rise. Telehealth is becoming a fundamental feature of health plans in the UAE as 54% of expats are likely to use it, which is 14% higher than the global average.
There is a need for policies and procedures for the implementation of telehealth in the UAE. The WHO has released digital health guidelines, and the Dubai health authority developed a telehealth standard to improve efficiency, quality, and safety in teleconsultation, tele diagnosis, telemonitoring, tele robotics, and tele pharmacy. While these initial standards are a needed introductory guide, a systematic discovery process related to patient and physician knowledge and attitudes regarding telehealth is an unmet need and would be a timely facilitator of providing accessible and efficient telehealth. Research on this topic is limited in the Gulf region, and to date, no studies on the topic have been carried out in UAE.
We describe herein a proposal for systematic cross-sectional study to assess the knowledge, attitudes, and willingness of physicians and patients to accept telehealth services in UAE. Three hundred physicians and nine hundred patients covering fourteen hospitals in UAE (two from each Emirate) will be studied using a quantitative questionnaire. The findings of this study provide a basis for the Ministry of Health to improve the quality of virtual health. With an understanding of acceptance and utilization of telehealth, this mode of health care can be optimized to fundamentally change how healthcare is provided and improve outcomes for patients.