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The Boom of Telehealth in UAE: Is it Here to Stay?

The Growth of Telehealth Market in the UAE

Post-pandemic, the telehealth industry in the UAE has been growing exponentially. The most significant factors include rapid population growth and the increasing prevalence of chronic diseases. Following this, UAE emphasizes facilitating easy and fast access to healthcare services, especially in underserved areas.

The UAE government is already investing in telemedicine initiatives to improve the quality and accessibility of existing healthcare infrastructure. The adoption of telemedicine in healthcare is solving mobility issues to a great extent. It also helps patients manage their medical conditions better in remote care.

So the UAE is witnessing an unstoppable boom in telehealth! Let’s dig deeper.

UAE Digital Health Market Size

The UAE Digital Health market will reach $524.60 Million in 2023. As a result, the market potential can rise to $798.80 Million at 11.08% CAGR by 2027.

The UAE Telehealth market could dramatically expand at 25% CAGR during 2023-2028, with telemedicine as a critical player.

Applications of Telehealth in the UAE

Telehealth in the UAE has 5 critical applications. They are:

Application #1: Mental health

With the increasing mental health disorders in UAE, Telehealth is a savior and facilitates 1:1 remote care. The patients get convenient and confidential access to mental health professionals through platforms such as the United Arab Emirates University (UAEU). Here, patients receive counseling and therapy sessions via video conferencing.

Application #2: Chronic disease management

Telehealth manages chronic conditions such as diabetes and heart disease through remote monitoring and counseling from healthcare professionals. For example, the Dubai Health Authority (DHA) has launched an exclusive telehealth program for diabetes patients.

Application #3: Infectious disease control

By minimizing the need for in-person consultations, telehealth contributes to reducing the transmission of infectious diseases like COVID-19. Notably, telehealth has been the UAE’s crucial application during the pandemic.

Application #4: Underserved and remote areas

Telehealth improves access to healthcare in remote and underserved areas of the UAE. For example, the Abu Dhabi Telemedicine Centre (ATC) provides telemedicine services to patients living in rural and remote areas. It uses a wide range of IoT-based solutions to provide patients hassle-free access to healthcare specialists, regardless of location.

Application #5: Delivering efficient healthcare services

Telehealth improves the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of healthcare delivery in the UAE. The tech-enabled ecosystem reduces the need for patients to travel to physical clinics or hospitals. Hence, it saves time and money for both patients and healthcare providers.

Trends in Telehealth

Here are the top 5 trends in telehealth in the UAE.

Trend #1: Remote Monitoring

The application of technologies for remote monitoring, such as wearables and sensors, has become increasingly popular in the UAE. These IoT-based telemonitoring healthcare solutions seamlessly track patients’ health status and trigger early warnings of potential problems.

Trend #2: Video Conferencing

The use of video conferencing applications, such as Skype, Gmeet, Zoom, etc., is a go-to for patients and healthcare professionals. It helps patients to receive 1:1 consultations, diagnoses, and treatments remotely.

Trend #3: Mobile Health (mHealth)

With the demand for remote patient monitoring, mHealth applications and services are rising exponentially. It real-time tracks patients’ well-being & improvements, plus provides personalized health updates.

Trend #4: Telemedicine

It meticulously improves healthcare access in underserved and remote areas of the UAE. Plus, telemedicine powerfully reduces the risk of infection transmission in pandemic situations.

Trend #5: Teleconsultation

It cuts down the prolonged examination process and walk-in iterations to clinics/hospitals. The healthcare specialists pre-screen patients and provide medical advice and treatment, regardless of location.

Top 5 reasons behind the rise of the telehealth industry

Here’s why the telehealth industry is on the rise.

Reason #1: Impact of COVID-19

The pandemic is the prominent reason for the quick adoption of telehealth in the UAE. It has transformed the patients’ experience 360-degree, fostering – inexpensive medical treatment in remote care.

Reason #2: Rapid population growth

The UAE population has dramatically increased from 9,890,402 in 2020 to 10,195,210. Thus, creating demand for a more robust tech-enabled ecosystem – telehealth infrastructure.

Reason #3: Increasing prevalence of chronic diseases

Ongoing economic advancements and urbanization are causing extreme chronic disease burdens in the UAE. It drives the growth of telehealth services, predominantly remote monitoring and telemedicine solutions.

Reason #4: Hassle-free access to healthcare services

In the UAE, some areas are sparsely populated and need easy access to healthcare services. Telehealth effortlessly reaches every corner of the country and provides patients with medical aid. Notably, the major credit for fueling telehealth growth nationwide goes to mHealth.

Reason #5: Government support

The UAE government is massively investing in telehealth projects to strengthen the existing healthcare infrastructure technologically. Thus, it creates a favorable environment for expanding telehealth in the country.

Benefits of Telehealth in the UAE

Here are the top 5 benefits of telehealth in the UAE.

Benefit #1: Uninterrupted access to healthcare services nationwide

Especially in rural regions, where reach is limited or negligible, the telehealth ecosystem smoothly covers rural and urban areas and facilitates remote medical support.

Benefit #2: Greater flexibility

Telehealth allows patients and healthcare providers to communicate and work together. Regardless of location, it provides more flexibility and better communication and reduces patient commute cycles.

Benefit #3: Facilitate convenience and confidentiality

Particularly in mental health cases, telehealth furnishes complete doctor-patient confidentiality. And it enables real-time remote care, helping patients handle their health status effectively.

Benefit #4: Improve patient outcomes

Following current patient records, telehealth provides timely, trouble-free, & easy-to-understand teleconsultations and medical aid.

Benefit #5: Expedite healthcare processes

Telehealth eradicates unwanted complications in conventional medical procedures and streamlines doctor-patient coordination.

Growth Opportunities and Future Scope

Year after year, the Smartphone Penetration Rate is increasing in the UAE. Approximately 90% UAE population has access to mobile phones. It signifies that telehealth’s growth and future scope in the UAE are highly positive.

The increasing utilization of telehealth solutions creates a surge for 360-degree telehealth services and applications.

Innovative solutions like virtual and augmented reality technology in telehealth will undoubtedly gain more popularity. This is because it has immense potential to bring more realistic and interactive experiences for patients and healthcare providers.

Besides, artificial intelligence and machine learning will become more prevalent as they can improve the accuracy of diagnoses & treatment plans.

Furthermore, government support is an additional leverage for the telehealth industry to expand its services and reach more patients.

The Bottom Line

So, is telehealth here to stay?

Of course, a big YES! Telehealth is convenient, efficient, economical, and robust enough to provide healthcare services in the UAE. Also, the government’s support and the increasing adoption of telehealth solutions make it a vital part of the healthcare system.