RIYADH: Bahrain is set to become the first country to sign up with Saudi Arabia’s Seha Virtual Hospital, the largest network of its kind in the world.
Saudi Health Minister Fahad Al-Jalajel recently met his Bahraini counterpart Dr. Jalila Al-Sayed, who is on a visit to the Kingdom, for talks on an agreement that will link Bahrain with the virtual hospital.
The hospital was launched in February this year as part of Saudi Arabia’s efforts to digitalize its healthcare sector.
Al-Jalajel outlined the functions of the Seha Virtual Hospital and its command and control center, and welcomed the prospect of Bahrain becoming the first country to be linked with the facility.
The ministers also discussed strengthening cooperation between the two countries in a range of health fields, such as medical research, emerging diseases and monitoring post-vaccine complications.
Al-Sayed highlighted the importance of cooperation in the fields of genetic diseases and genes, telemedicine and clinical trials.
The two sides also reviewed joint efforts in the field of health insurance, as well as the mobile health care experience in Bahrain.
Later, the Bahraini minister toured the Seha Virtual Hospital and was given a detailed explanation of the facility’s services. She also visited the command and control center.
With a growing live network of 130 connected hospitals, Seha Virtual Hospital is the largest of its kind in the world. The only other virtual hospital to rival it is in the US, with 43 connected hospitals.
Patients of the virtual hospital will no longer need to travel to different parts of the Kingdom to be seen by specialized physicians, nor will they be limited by 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. clinic hours.
Earlier, an official told Arab News that patients can now receive second and third medical opinions from the same consulting room.
Unlike simple video calls with doctors, the virtual hospital allows patients to visit their local hospital and attend a real-time live video clinical session with top specialists from across the Kingdom. During the session, vitals signs can be shared, while tests and X-rays can also be taken and shared with the network of specialists.
Emergency interventions can be provided round the clock, and real-time consultations with top specialists will guide local junior staff in dealing with complex cases.
Seha Virtual Hospital covers 12 main specialties and more than 35 subspecialties, including hospital-at-home follow-ups, where chronically ill patients, from the comfort of their homes, can stay connected with doctors.