Al-Futtaim Health, MetLife launch service for digital healthcare solutions

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Al-Futtaim Health and MetLife announced a strategic partnership to launch a first-of-its-kind service that will connect healthcare professionals and specialists with patients virtually.

The services will be launched under MetLife’s Care Anywhere platform, powered by Al-Futtaim Health, making healthcare services more accessible to MetLife’s corporate insured members.

MetLife’s Care Anywhere encompasses telehealth and SmartDoc services, powered by HealthHub and Tashafi Clinics from Al-Futtaim Heath. The solutions will combine digital and human interaction to enhance the efficiency of healthcare delivery and make medicine more personalized and precise. The new Care Anywhere telehealth solution will expand the traditional general practitioner model to include several specialists, delivery of medicine, management of chronic disease, and continuum of care virtually and in person for the UAE.

Through SmartDoc, a nurse practitioner from HealthHub/Tashafi clinics will deliver a multi-gadget, device to the patients’ premises. The device then connects the patient to a physician in real time for a full diagnosis, through reading the patient’s vitals, listen to patient heart and chest, look into eyes, ears and even do a 12 lead ECG. The service is focused on increasing access by reaching the patient at home or work, elevating quality of care, capabilities, and expertise in the healthcare space. The services will begin to be rolled out to segments of MetLife’s corporate insured members beginning July 3, 2021.

Saleh Al Hashimi, CEO of Dubai Health Insurance Corporation, Dubai Health Authority, said that the UAE’s healthcare sector has experienced tremendous growth over the past decade. “Providing world-class healthcare is one of the six pillars of the National Agenda in line with Vision 2021 and we are focused on implementing the appropriate regulations to ensure we are aligned with all best global practices. We are delighted to see the alliance between large market players like Al-Futtaim Health and MetLife aimed at achieving this vision and offering convenient solutions to the public making healthcare easily accessible.’’

Dr Haidar Al Yousuf, MD of Al-Futtaim Health, said that Al-Futtaim Health is committed to constantly diversifying its offerings. “Digital healthcare is a booming global industry and it’s projects like these that will contribute to putting the UAE on the map as a hub for innovative healthcare and digital transformation.”

Andrew Stocker, head of Employee Benefits MetLife Gulf, noted that the company has been evaluating healthcare trends, consumer behaviours, and customers’ evolving needs. “What we see in the data matches what we hear from our customers – they want expanded access to virtual care that will allow them to address both acute and chronic conditions wherever they are. Following the DHAs circular in April of 2020, the demand for such services has increased by a multiple of 10, and was the catalyst for us beginning our research.”

He explained that it is “extremely important” for companies to offer such remote services. “In addition to accelerating access to quality care, it is also addressing a few key needs our customers have shared with us in recent months – convenience for a population of members that may work remotely even medium and long-term, safety as we continue to navigate through a post pandemic world, and cost where remote care can increase the timeliness and efficiency of the healthcare system in delivering care.”

“We have clearly identified in our data, that consumer behaviours have shifted and that remote services such as telehealth and digital diagnostic tools are here to stay,” he added. “Although it will still take some time for a majority of consumer to switch to remote healthcare scenarios, we are certainly seeing utilization well above pre-Covid-19 levels and that have remainder stable since October of last year.”