Mobile phones to deliver health messages in Qatar

The Sidra Medical and Research Centre will use e-health technology to send patients advice. 

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By  Joanna Hartley Published  March 16, 2009

Public health information will be made available from Qatar’s Sidra Medical and Research Centre via people’s mobile phones, according to its chief research adviser.

David Kerr said the centre was keen to exploit e-health schemes such as SMS alerts that would be an effective form of communication between clinicians and the public in a country where almost everyone has a mobile phone.  

Kerr was speaking to Qatar daily Gulf Times prior to the start of roundtable sessions on health sciences being held ahead of Monday’s official opening of the Qatar Science and Technology Park - where the centre is based.

“We will exploit the electronic media to support our clinical trials. Another interesting idea is to use e-health through mobile phones because almost everybody in Qatar has one,” he said.

The hospital was looking at becoming one of the most cutting-edge in the region in terms of clinical trials and treatments, with up to 600 world-class scientists looking to work there in the next three years, he added.

It was already planning to carry out stem cell research into diabetes, breast and colon cancer, Kerr revealed.  

“Sidra will be one of the most advanced hospitals in the region and tap e-health facilities and information technology to make cutting edge researches in terms of building clinical trials in treatments, stem cell research and so on,” he said.

Another area in urgent need of research attention was the high rates of genetic disorders seen in the region as a result of the high prevalence of family marriage, Kerr noted.

“Initially, we will try our best to better understand the basis of these genetic diseases within the region. Once we understand the problem we will try to see what we can do to assist diagnosis and treatment and possibly we might be able to come up with other treatments suggestions,” he said

“We should be able to take some of the new ideas in research, new products and drugs to levels that will not only support healthcare in Qatar but create wealth as well,” Kerr predicted.

3173 days ago
Alistair Kellock

I just find it slightly ironic that it was not too long ago that we were being bombarded with Warnings of Risks to our Health, from the use of Mobile Phones - Frying Grey Cells !!

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