Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi's ally during the COVID crisis: Telehealth

Telemedicine, artificial intelligence and mobile applications help control and combat COVID-19 in the UAE.

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Saqib Chaudhry/Bryan Lord

The rapid transmission and fatality rate of COVID-19 has set off health alarms worldwide. Hospitals have accelerated their digital strategies, embracing emerging technologies to help combat the disease.

Throughout the pandemic, telehealth, cloud computing, robots and AI-based chatbots or assistants have been playing a critical role in caring for patients and supporting medical staff. At Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi, the hospital's digital strategy  -- set before the pandemic -- became the foundation that enabled the hospital to accelerate the use of a number of new technologies, digital tools and various applications of AI to enhance care for patients and support clinicians.

The facility is an extension of the U.S.-based Cleveland Clinic Foundation, with 364 beds (expandable to 490), five clinical floors, three diagnostic and treatment levels, and 13 floors of critical and acute inpatient units. It was built following an agreement between the Cleveland Clinic and the Mubadala Development Company, which has developed a network of healthcare facilities to provide a range of services addressing the needs of Abu Dhabi and the UAE.

"Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi (CCAD) has developed a robust digital health portal to enable patients to easily book appointments and schedule remote visits with their physicians. We launched our 'Virtual Visits' capability through our Health Portal at the start of the pandemic to allow patients to maintain their relationship with their doctor during this time of physical distancing," says Bryan Lord, CIO at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi. "Patients can have a virtual visit with their doctor to discuss any concerns or conduct a followup using video through the Health Portal mobile app or online through their web browser."

Telehealth expands worldwide, and locally

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