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Telemedicine adopted to reduce infection

22 Apr 2020

In an effort to provide enhanced care during the COVID-19 pandemic and reduce the probability of potential infection in medical facilities, The Royal Hospital has launched Telemedicine Facility service.  

The introduction of the service has enabled continuation of care and avoidance in delays covering all consultations, mainly follow-up cases and chronic conditions. This is expected to reduce unnecessary hospital visits. Speaking to Muscat Daily, Dr Mohamed bin Abdullah al Lamki, senior consultant endocrinologist, The Royal Hospital, said, “This virtual patient-doctor meeting will be for all kinds of ailments. 

This is to reach out to patients within Muscat and beyond, providing consultations,  immediate planned investigations and deliverance of medications.” 

Dr Lamki added, “Patients or relatives on their behalf, will receive an SMS for appointment [the date and time of the clinic] 24 hours in advance. Contact is made by a telephone call, using an app, a line dedicated for this clinic and provided by Omantel facilitating the technology and ensuring confidentiality. The doctor will call the patient through a special dedicated number. Patients can’t call back on this number. It will be a one-way call. This is the first stage of the project.” 

Regarding the second stage of the project, Dr Lamki said the hospital is likely to launch video conferencing facility on the same principles in the near future. 

“It will be like a real-time appointment with the doctor.” He said that COVID-19 has enabled hospitals to use technologies to provide continued care and reduce visits. “The idea is to make the whole experience hassle-free through this remote facility. We need to raise awareness among patients about why they need to take advantage of the technology. 

“New cases require to have initial visit at the hospital for consultancy purposes, high-tech investigations like imaging or urgent procedures that cannot be avoided.” 

He said that the logistics for medicines to be delivered at the doorstep of patients or health centres and regional hospital has been devised with inputs from The Royal Hospital.

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