As the healthcare IT market is predicted to reach a value of $280.25bn by 2021, Emitac Healthcare Solutions (EHS) has made a name for itself as the most preferred healthcare solutions integrator in the UAE region.
Keeping pace with emerging trends in the healthcare landscape, the Dubai-based firm is tapping into Healthcare Information & Technology (HI&T), a fast-emerging avenue in healthcare that aims to enhance operations in all aspects of healthcare management, by optimising the acquisition, big data analytics, storage, retrieval and use of information.
It is clear that EHS’s core mission isn’t about technology for technology’s sake. It’s about providing cutting-edge tools that embrace the industry’s best practices, meets the technological needs of staff and delivers the highest standards of patient care.
In order to keep abreast with changing technologies and innovations, EHS’s Healthcare & Information Technology business unit caters to the technological needs of the healthcare industry.
Suresh Babu, Senior Divisional Director of Critical Care and HIT, says: “EHS strives to deliver reliable and cost-effective solutions that truly enhance patient care.”
“Our success lies in our customer-centric approach,” Babu explains. “Fundamentally, all of our solutions are mission-critical services that are important to save patients’ lives. Healthcare is becoming more and more complex therefore we need to have the necessary knowledge in healthcare devices, clinical and IT. At EHS, we have the right mix of talents and domain expertise. Our team includes healthcare professional medical engineers, nurses, doctors, clinical specialist and business people.
“We also exclusively represent the leading brands in the market today like Philips, Vocera, Hill-Rom, Capsa Solutions and Stanley Healthcare which gives us a strong leadership position. It is this combination of factors that is the key to our success.
“Our eclectic portfolio includes critical communication solutions, tracking and protection solutions, patient entertainment, and clinical information solutions which come from the industry’s leading partners,” he adds.
Communication is the lifeblood of healthcare and perhaps no one understands this better than EHS. As such, EHS has created several services to deliver end-to-end communication between clinicians and patients alike.
“Communication fundamentally helps to save lives,” reflects Babu. “Poor communication may lead to potential death. Unfortunately, communication errors are the number one current cause of harm to patients. The Joint commission on Accreditation of Healthcare organisation describes communication error as the cause of 60% to 70% of preventable hospital deaths.” *
Traditionally, there is a time gap required to assess the patient’s needs from the moment the patient requests for help. With solutions like Vocera, the moment a patient presses a button, they can have live communication with caregivers and their concerns will be addressed within 20 seconds.
“Nurses in the wards walk about seven to eight kilometres per day between the nurses’ station and every patient room,” Babu says. “With Vocera communication solutions, the nurses don’t need to walk around as much they do, they can directly interact with the patient or clinician wherever they are. When reducing the communication gap between the patient, caregiver and clinician, more time is available in order to potentially save lives”.
Keeping pace with some of the sector’s most disruptive technologies, EHS offers real-time location services, monitoring patients, staff, assets and even the temperature and humidity within the facility. This ensures safety within the healthcare environment and reassures new mothers of any concerns about mother-to-infant matching and prevention of potential abductions.
“Today, infant protection is very critical for two reasons: it ensures the right baby is placed with the right mother and are well protected within a secured zone, and it also prevents infants from being abducted,” explains Babu.
“We have a radio-frequency identification system whereby babies are tagged with devices that work closely with wi-fi and security systems. If a baby is handed to the wrong parent, is near an unauthorized zone, or is abducted, the doors will immediately lock and sound an alarm – unless there is a fire alarm. This ensures the infant’s utmost safety.”
Today, patient entertainment systems are also becoming a norm in healthcare, helping patients beat boredom whilst engaging in personal healthcare. Offering solutions such as Patient Linc and Mobile Linc, EHS ensures that patients can watch movies, Skype with family members, and learn when their lab results are set to come back or when they’re going for an X-Ray.
The result: increased patient satisfaction, increased patient engagement, better health outcomes and fewer hospital readmissions.
“Patient engagement is very critical as they can be in a hospital for days or even weeks,” notes Babu. “The patient has to be engaged and they should have a choice of entertainment. On top of that, Skype reduces face-to-face contact with visitors and patients potentially reducing infections which is one of the biggest challenges faced by healthcare sector today.”
To make healthcare affordable, Babu says the sector needs to utilise tools that offer the best return on investment (ROI) and that’s why EHS only partners with market-leading healthcare and technology providers.
“Our solutions like Vocera, Stanley, Hill-Rom, or Philips, are amongst the best in that technology space,” Babu says. “That's very critical, especially if you look at countries like UAE which look for premium brands. These solutions are helping clinicians and adding value, making healthcare more affordable, and fundamentally increasing efficiency.”
The healthcare system in the Middle East is investing large amounts into infrastructure and equipment. If the market becomes saturated with newly constructed hospitals, experts will look to see which technologies and applications could bring about cost optimisation and ROI.
“There is big potential in Middle East because there has been a rise in lifestyle diseases such as obesity, diabetes and high blood pressure,” explains Babu. “If you take the UAE, for instance, the region has one of the largest diabetic populations in the world. Therefore, the Middle East is definitely looking at investing more in healthcare and being more cost-effective through technologies because the population is growing and demand for healthcare is also growing.”
Innovation runs deep at EHS and not the one to sit on its laurels, the Dubai-based company is on the lookout for the next state-of-the-art technology; turning its attention to telehealth, Tele-ICU, virtual consulting and artificial intelligence. As a result, Babu believes that EHS is ready for any dynamic changes in the sector.
“Healthcare is going to drastically adapt to the changing technology environment,” he says. “We believe that artificial intelligence in healthcare is one of the best use cases in healthcare technology and so that's an area where we are focusing. We are also exploring the use of teleconsulting and telemedicine.
“Today, people want second opinions. They want to consult a doctor from home. This critical communication technology is going to drive the market of the future. We are also going to focus on oncology services and recently partnered with Varian, who are one of the leading technology providers for oncology in the world. That's an area where we expect to see growth.”
Since he first joined the company around 13 years ago, Babu has helped to build EHS’s Health Information & Technology department from scratch. Today it has become fundamental to EHS’s success as one of the leading health technology integrators in UAE.
United by a vision to champion practices, meet the technological needs of staff, and deliver exceptional patient care, EHS has established its position in the healthcare technology market. Going forward, it seems it is set to remain a market leader in years to come.
* Ref: Joseph Murphy, MD& William Dunn, MD CHEST Journal; December 2010 Vol 138, issue 6, page-1292