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Dhaman signs partnership agreement with IBM to establish advanced healthcare system

Launches Kuwait Digital Health Roadmap Initiative

KUWAIT: Dhaman Chairman Mutlaq Al-Sanea (left) and IBM Region Executive Middle East Bashar Kilani (right) shake hands after signing the agreement as the Health Ministry’s Undersecretary Dr Mohammad Al-Khashti looks on. —Photo by Yasser Al-Zayyat

KUWAIT: In a pioneering step made in line with Kuwait’s development plan and Vision 2035 ‘New Kuwait’, the Health Assurance Hospitals Company (Dhaman) signed a strategic partnership agreement with multinational technology company IBM, for the development of the Digital Health System and the launch of the Kuwait Digital Health Roadmap Initiative. Through the agreement Dhaman aims to become a regional leader in the technological healthcare sector by 2020.

Opening the doors for further cooperation and the development of the industry in Kuwait through IBM’s breakthrough technology and world-renowned experience; Dhaman will establish a Digital Health System and launch the Kuwait Digital Health Roadmap Initiative to advance and digitize the healthcare sector including the management of Electronic Medical records and providing high-quality services to all beneficiaries in a professional and efficient manner.

The agreement aims to achieve a qualitative leap in the quality of services provided to the public to increase efficiency, reduce operational costs and waste, and optimize capital assets and equipment. It will also link and integrate different departments at Kuwait’s Ministry of Health, which will permit the ministry to monitor health facilities and real time performance management.

Undersecretary of the Ministry of Health Dr Mohammad Al-Khashti said: “This initiative between Dhaman and IBM is a strategic step in the direction of reformation as the technological solutions and outputs expected from it will serve as a launching pad of innovative ideas to further develop quality, standards and ease of access to services in the healthcare sector in Kuwait. I commend Dhaman and IBM for their initiative and hope it will be the beginning of enhancing the digital healthcare system for the benefit of the community.” IBM is ranked as one of the top 10 brands influencing the world’s economy, and is one of the largest technology, digital health, and artificial intelligence companies in the world.

Dhaman CEO and Board Member, Dr Ahmad Al-Saleh said: “Since our establishment, Dhaman has put forth an ambitious strategic vision and technical plans to become a leader in the healthcare sector. This vision can only be achieved by the full integration of healthcare with the Information Technology (IT) sector to enable us to achieve our goals and provide a unique experience to beneficiaries through unified access across all services. It will also enable us to establish a state-of-the-art technical and practical platform that meet international standards in health.

“Dhaman is proud to present a national vision through the ‘Kuwait Digital Health Roadmap Initiative’ offering a better future to Kuwaiti citizens. The partnership with IBM will enable Dhaman to connect with international and innovative institutes and centers around the world and stay up-to-date with the latest advancements in technology and healthcare. The roadmap will feature a unified e-health file, infrastructure for cloud services, access to health services through multiple channels, and establish a medical decision support system and artificial intelligence systems in addition to the development of public health systems, awareness, and preventive solutions.

“IBM will provide project management and consulting services to Dhaman through the establishment of a full-integrated digital system that will accommodate Primary Healthcare Centers and Secondary Healthcare Hospitals geographically spread across Kuwait. Setting the criteria to reach HIMSS Analytics Stage 7 and continuing to work towards establishing Dhaman as a leading digital health organization in the Middle East by 2020. HIMSS Analytics is a global healthcare IT market intelligence, research and standards organization that tracks and benchmarks technological progress against other healthcare organizations. This comes in addition to signing an agreement with JCI, an international non-profit organization and the oldest and largest accreditation organization in the field of healthcare in the world, to strengthen and enable core activities to meet standards in clinical care, effective leadership, safe facility management and continuous quality improvement. Our local strategic partner Arabi Holding Company is working tirelessly to provide the support needed to achieve our goals and overcome the challenges in order for us to contribute towards the development of the healthcare sector in Kuwait.”

Dhaman Information Technology Director, Engineer Abdullah Al-Najjar said: “The modern interactive technologies to be provided by this agreement will offer beneficiaries with unified access to all services and securely automate all internal and external operations, which in return will achieve the strategic objectives of managing the public’s health. Dhaman has set a strategy to healthcare and a roadmap to implement the EMR Adoption Model (EMRAM), which aims to achieve minimal paper use and harness technology to support and improve patient care. Our partnership with IBM is divided into two phases; the first of which is offering consulting services to help transform Dhaman into a leading digital healthcare system in the MENA region, and the second is project management and execution of the vision. These phases in return will set the long-term agenda for the future vision in technology through well-studied experiences and scientific; methodologies, and determining the technological and strategic requirements to achieve a digital healthcare system.”

Dhaman was established in 2015 as a public-private-partnership (PPP) project with an authorized capital of KD 230 million. Government entities represented by the Kuwait Investment Authority and General Authority for Social Insurance own 24 percent of the company, while 26 percent is owned by strategic partner Arabi Holding Company. The company allocated 50 percent of its shares for public subscription for Kuwaiti citizens.

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