Saudi Arabia turns to 'digital health' amid outbreak

Saudi Arabia has taken digital health as a priority for the development of health services: minister

  
Doctor analyzing COVID-19 or coronavirus test result with futuristic tablet. Image used for illustrative purpose.

Doctor analyzing COVID-19 or coronavirus test result with futuristic tablet. Image used for illustrative purpose.

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JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia’s health sector has accelerated  its digital transformation during the coronavirus pandemic, paving the way  for future projects to expand and improve services in  the Kingdom.

The Kingdom’s health minister, Dr. Tawfiq Al-Rabiah, highlighted the ministry’s efforts during the HIMSS and Health 2.0 Middle East Digital Health Conference and Exhibition on Sunday, a joint collaboration with the ministry, the Saudi Health Council and the Saudi Commission for Heath Specialities.

“Saudi Arabia has taken digital health as a priority for the development of health services,” he said.

“A number of projects have been launched such as the ‘Mawid’ app that allows users to book (medical) appointments. More than 14 million users have registered in the app and more than 60 million appointments have been made through it.”

The minister added that services provided in recent months have greatly helped both citizens and the health sector. Communication between doctors and patients has increased, cutting time for dispensing medications.

Health Ministry spokesman Dr. Mohammed Al-Abd Al-Aly told a press conference on Sunday that residents are playing a major role in curbing the spread of the virus by adhering to health protocols.

A total of 217 new cases were recorded on Sunday, bringing the total in the Kingdom to 357,128.

Al-Aly said that health breaches in a number of provinces in the Riyadh, Makkah and Jazan regions have led to a slight increase in cases, prompting authorities to cite violators for ignoring protocols.

In total, 12,855 violations have been recorded in the past week, with the highest number in Makkah with 3,290 violations, followed by Qassim with 1,980 and Riyadh with 1,956. Meanwhile, 386 new recoveries have been recorded, raising the total number to 346,409. The Kingdom’s recovery rate is almost 97 percent.

A total of 14 new deaths have been recorded, raising the overall toll to 5,884. For the first time in more than seven months, the number of active cases has dropped below the 5,000 mark. There are currently 4,835 active cases, including 674 in critical care. Of the active cases, 418 are in Riyadh, 259 in Madinah, 254 in Hofuf, and 212 in Makkah.

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