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by Ahmad Yahya | Romel Khalife
Published on June 16, 2021

In an interview with Gulf News, Ahmad Yahya, CIO/COO at AHD explains how the marriage of next-gen tech and data is delivering an improved experience for patients and Romel Khalife, Lead Client Accountable Executive for Cerner in the Middle East, explains why its high-profile project with American Hospital Dubai is a pioneering initiative.

How is technology a driver of healthcare transformation for your hospital?

Ahmad: AHD has consistently strived to look for advanced next-generation technologies, process automations with a focus on enhancing its patient experience, clinical outcomes and improving its operational efficiencies across its healthcare facilities. We are achieving this with our digital transformation strategy that includes a harmonious marriage of data, digital tools, and communication to drive better healthcare. It should be noted that Technology proliferation has moved us to being cure-oriented to being preventive, from instinct-based to data-driven. On the AI front, we believe AI will transform the delivery of care where it will impact every aspect of healthcare with a focus on detection, prediction, and prevention.

AI should be looked at as a complementary tool rather than replacing anything traditional where its models will mimic the human cognition analysis, presentation, and comprehension of complex medical and health care data. It should empower medical staff to focus more precisely on terms of their expertise.

How are AI model outcomes adding value to AHD business operations?

Ahmad: We are using the power of AI to help minimize the burden of chronic diseases for the welfare of our patients. Our AI approach strives to develop scientifically proven, relative, and explainable AI models that support our clinical operations and outcomes. We look at AI models being complementary and preventive tools rather than a ‘cure’. We believe technology will drive precision medicine. At AHD we are currently evaluating AI models with a focus on improving the Patient experience, Staff Productivity, Call enter Agent Effectiveness, Clinical outcomes like Treatment plans, and Imaging. AI will also be important to us in the areas of Chronic care Management, Prevention, Care delivery, Triage and Diagnosis, Clinical Decision Support, and Diagnostics.

Could you talk about AHD’s use of advanced tech in Covid management in collaboration with Cerner and how it has impacted the situation?

Ahmad: With the collaboration with Cerner, we were able to develop and operationalize a Covid-19 model with a focus on Risk identifiers available to identify patients who are at high risk for ICU admissions and risk of mortality. The predictors and the model intelligence helped us in prioritizing ICU patients for hospitalization and their risk factor for ICU admissions. The AI-led algorithm helped us to identify the patients who are at high risk for ICU admissions and risk of mortality so we could provide them with timely and appropriate care. In the model, we used more than 5,000 attributes, analyzed the top 50 risk identifiers across the globe and examined 100,000 combinations of identifiers for our patients to arrive at an accurate identification of the top ten features that will impact the outcome for Covid-19.

In summary, we were able to improve clinical outcomes and provide focused personalized patient care by providing specific care pathways. This is a concrete example of how AI plays a vital role in improving healthcare.

When did the partnership with American Hospital Dubai start and why is it unique?

Romel: It started early in 2020, when American Hospital Dubai (AHD) was seeking a full end-to-end automated clinical and business processes through a digital transformation program. What is unique at AHD is that is it managed under one framework program to enable the hospital to deliver a seamless patient journey, drive efficiency, as well as provide high quality and affordable care. This is a considerable transformation; hence the organization change management in place has a target to advance the communication, learning and governance for such journey. In addition, the data and reporting strategy that AHD and Cerner are driving will allow reporting on key performance indicators that align with the hospital and Al Mulla Group's vision optimizing performance across the entire organization.

What is Cerner doing that is transforming healthcare at AHD?

Romel: While currently deploying the latest Cerner code, and after going live with human capital, finance and supply chain modules from Oracle ERP, Cerner will integrate the hospital’s clinical and business operations to improve patient care, reduce costs through efficiencies, promote higher productivity and performance, boost employee satisfaction, and streamline workflow systems. Value measure is key for the success of our implementation that we tie to the Quadruple Aim. The Aim covers improving the patient experience, the health of the population and the staff experience, in addition to reducing the cost of healthcare.

The pandemic has proven the importance of AI in modern healthcare, despite some skepticism.  What’s your view as an AI solutions provider?

Romel: Covid-19 escalated the use of AI and proved its incredible value in predicting healthcare outcomes.  From machine learning models that can predict the probability of a Covid-19 patient requiring intensive care admission to models that stratify the population into priority groups for vaccination even to models that try to predict the possible upcoming waves of the infection in certain cities or districts, the experiments are surfacing from all over the place. These projects are still some-what on AHD scale overall within the “AHD datalab”, that’s why the framework that AHD has built is ready to onboard other facilities and leverage big data into those predictive models with a more comprehensive value for the UAE population.


Read the interviews originally posted on Gulf News via the links below:

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