Experts call for innovation in healthcare technology
April 28 2013 10:10 PM
The speakers and QSTP officials at the seminar.
The speakers and QSTP officials at the seminar.

Qatar Science and Technology Park (QSTP) hosted a seminar to address the latest trends and developments emerging in the healthcare technology sector.

The panel of speakers included Dr Manar M al-Moneef, director of Government Affairs and Policy Middle East at General Electric; Dr Justin Grantham, chief scientist, RASAD; and Dr Esam Ali Masoud, medical manager at Daman Health Insurance Qatar.

Dr al-Moneef stressed on the need for innovative healthcare technology solutions that are focused on the needs of local markets which differ in priority from one nation to another. “The healthcare industry in the Middle East shares the same challenges that are being faced globally. The current model is not sustainable given demographic shifts and solutions must improve quality while lowering costs. However unless these solutions are focused on specific local needs, it will not be sufficient.”

Dr al-Moneef also shared best practices in establishing a patient-centred next-generation healthcare system, which utilises cutting-edge information and communication technologies to provide world-class services to patients. “The gap between the technological and healthcare sector has been steadily widening, resulting in the need to develop new solutions that change the way stakeholders operate and co-operate with each other to provide patient centric care,” he added.

Dr Justin Grantham said: “Technology is only part of the solution in the long-term management of disease. Disease management also comes down to the lifestyle choices that individuals make. Aside from the proper implementation, technology also needs to engage people to be more pro-active and involved in their health management and subsequently improve their quality of life.”

According to the chief scientist, the use of information and communication technologies in healthcare has generated scepticism because this can be too technology-driven and may not always integrate well with the complexities of existing workflows in clinical practice.

Dr Esam Masoud, who was also a member of the panel, addressed the implications of technology on the health insurance sector.

Summing up the event, Hamad al-Kuwari, managing director, QSTP, said: “The discussions were significant in addressing many of the components articulated in the National Health Strategy of Qatar, which upholds that changes in healthcare regulation, delivery and financing are necessary in order for the full potential of science and technology to be seen in improving health outcomes and efficiency.’’




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