RIYADH: The coronavirus pandemic has inadvertently provided the springboard to spur on the digital transformation of Saudi Arabia’s public healthcare sector.
The strain placed on the Kingdom’s health services by the COVID-19 outbreak highlighted the need for more robust apps, such as booking platforms for vaccinations and remote access to patient records.
As a result, the Saudi Ministry of Health has been forging ahead with the introduction of multi-cloud solutions, built on VMware Cloud Foundation, to boost provision to the country’s growing population of more than 35 million people.
The ministry can now offer secure, cloud-based services to a range of public healthcare providers including hospitals, clinics, and pharmacies, significantly boosting their efficiency, and enabling them to grow and innovate.
Health officials have simplified the ministry’s information technology infrastructure by deploying VMware Cloud Foundation as the unifying platform for its cloud environment, spreading workloads across the clouds of service providers including STC and Mobily.
Ministry information security general director, Khalid Al-Medbel, said: “The Ministry of Health seeks to achieve the highest levels of excellence in healthcare in line with the aims of Saudi Vision 2030. This means having the best multi-cloud foundation to optimize operations, raise efficiency, and drive innovation across the country’s healthcare providers.
“Thanks to our digital transformation with VMware, all public healthcare providers will have access to best-in-class cloud services that will improve operations and boost healthcare provision for citizens and residents.”
By utilizing VMware, the ministry has gained access to a complete set of highly secure software-defined services for compute, storage, network, security, Kubernetes, and cloud management. Once fully deployed, Saudi Arabia’s public healthcare system will benefit from the resiliency, agility, and efficiency offered by the shared cloud platform.
Each healthcare facility will have access to virtual infrastructure and as-a-service apps and will also be able to design and deploy apps from the cloud, giving them the freedom to innovate and provide world-class services to patients.
Saif Mashat, Saudi Arabia country director for VMware, said: “The Ministry of Health’s transformation with VMware shows the power of multi-cloud to re-invent healthcare with the highly efficient use of resources, and unleash new levels of agility and innovation.
“We look forward to working in partnership with the ministry as it continues to move workloads to the new environment and offer more cloud-enabled services to healthcare providers across the country.”
Over the coming months, ministry officials plan to deploy more VMware solutions — including for additional cybersecurity and secure distributed working — to bring additional app development capabilities to the Kingdom’s public healthcare providers.