Riyadh, Saudi Arabia – Royal Philips (NYSE: PHG, AEX: PHIA), a global leader in health technology, is partnering with The Saudi Telecom Company (STC), the largest telecom operator in the Middle East, to rollout telehealth solutions powered by Artifical Intelligence in a move that could transform the ability to diagnose and treat patients in remote and rural areas. The telehealth solutions provided by Philips allow hospitals and clinics anywhere in the country to be connected to command centers, through which doctors in other locations can treat patients remotely, providing better access to higher quality and more cost-effective care.
Eng. Riyadh Muawadh, Enterprise Senior VP at STC, commented: “We know that limited access to adequate ICT infrastructure is the biggest technological barrier to realizing telehealth solutions for disadvantaged and underserved communities. We have invested in our state of the art ICT infrastructure to help support the Kingdom’s Vision 2030, which has digital transformation at its heart. Spanning all corners of the country, our network is a key piece of the jigsaw puzzle in providing better access, higher quality and more cost effective care to all residents of the Kingdom and helping healthcare professionals in all locations feel confident and empowered in their day to day working lives.”
With healthcare in Saudi Arabia free to all Saudi residents and expatriate workers in the public sector, national healthcare financing is under strain from rapid demographic changes, an increase in sedentary lifestyles, rising costs, increasing user expectations, and changing disease patterns. The cost efficiencies brought by telehealth solutions are therefore key, with the Clinical Command centre technology enabling scalable clinical productivity which leverages a foundation of advanced clinical software tools that support the monitoring and surveillance of up to 150 patients by one provider and 35 patients by one nurse. Digitized and virtually enabled Intensive Care Units like those provided through the Philips eICU Program provide an additional layer of critical care service, with centralized co-located caregivers able to view interfaced physiologic data via workstations of 6-8 monitors and monitor patients anywhere in a hospital or across multiple hospitals to help detect critical issues and intervene before these advance. The monitoring of respiratory and sleep conditions is also made possible through services such as TeleRespiratory and TeleSleep.