Move leaves no stone unturned in bid to improve public health - GulfToday

Move leaves no stone unturned in bid to improve public health

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Photo has been used for illustrative purposes.

Mariecar Jara-Puyod, Senior Reporter

Collaboration and partnership have become one of the positive outcomes of “Arab Health,” which, since 1975, has been a channel for local, regional and international healthcare industry stakeholders to introduce and showcase well-researched science/medical-based technology for improved public health and patient care.

One such collaboration and partnership is between the UAE Ministry of Health and Prevention (MoHaP), the Emirates Health Services (EHS) and the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) in Pennsylvania, USA, presented on Monday, the first day of “Arab Health 2021,” ongoing until June 24 (Thursday) at the Dubai World Trade Centre.

Another collaboration and partnership is between the dU telecommunications provider and the Netherlands-headquartered Royal Philips health technology company, an Arab Health repeat participant many times over. Philips Middle East/Turkey/Africa chief executive officer Vincenzo Ventricelli told Gulf Today: “(We) signed a Memorandum of Understanding earlier this month with dU, from the Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company to collaboratively accelerate the critical, data-driven transformation of healthcare in the UAE. It is in support of the Dubai Health Strategy 2021. The first-of-its kind partnership will focus (on the) collective efforts (for the realisation of) value-based care by improving patient and healthcare professionals’ experiences, delivering better health (results), at a lower cost of care across the healthcare continuum.”

On the MoHaP-EHS-CHOP teamwork, this is regarding the need to discover and invent devices, preferably the easy-to-carry gadgets to immediately resolve concussions or the traumatic brain injuries young athletes sustain in training sessions or actual competitions that most likely end in the abnormal functioning of the brain with possible critical side effects.

The three institutions had endeavoured to conduct three studies using the CHOP “Minds Matter Concussion Programme,” a set of “cutting-edge concussion diagnostics, and therapies designed to help patients, families, healthcare providers, school staff and coaches (spot) signs and symptoms and ultimately support physician-guided recovery with focus on improving long-term outcomes and preventing (repeats).” EHS director general Dr. Youssef Mohamed Al Serkal and EHS-Hospitals Administration director Dr Kalthoum Al Baloushi said CHOP is among the organisations the UAE has “long-standing and robust” partnerships with. The purpose of the research works was to develop more dependable specialised care, particularly for children utilising innovative equipment.

The first research was about the pupillary light reflex of young athletes suffering from concussions and wherein the automatic response of their pupil to light as a result of the accident was measured with the use of a portable hand-held pupillometer that uses a standard white light source and an infrared camera. The second research looked into the effectiveness of a uniquely-designed mouth guard that serves as a protection for the teeth, lips, gums and arches of the athletes both during practice and actual games. The third research examined the reliability of the Near-Infrared Spectroscopy, similar to the Magnetic Resonance Imaging and which checks or measures the cerebral blood flow due to the concussion/s.  The conclusion was that this gadget helps determine the state of the brain injuries. Hence, a more personalised therapeutic approach towards full recovery is achievable.

CHOP executive director Christina L. Master pointed out the the value of inventing a hand-held device, usable in all sports activities to measure cerebral blood flow and trace potential Post-Concussion Syndrome: “Today, properly diagnosing a concussion is a challenge due to the lack of objective diagnostic tests for adolescents. In recent years, researchers at CHOP have studied the body’s visco-vestibular system (which is the) system that processes spatial motion and visual information to seek biomarkers for concussion that can support diagnosis and individualised treatment and recovery plans.”

“Athletes all over the world need prompt diagnosis and treatment for the full recovery of their concussions and return to their sport in top shape,” she added.

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