Majed Lababidi, Co-Founder and Managing Director of Droobi Health – and an alumni of Qatar Foundation’s innovation TV show Stars of Science – explains how his company is helping to provide the digital healthcare solutions that the pandemic has highlighted the need for.
The challenge we face today has been both unexpected and devastating, in the form of a virus that is spreading rapidly around the globe and changing how we live and work.
COVID-19 is a global crisis that concerns us all. Both Qatar and the world, are preparing for an increase in COVID-19 patients and doing everything in their power to coordinate continuity of care.
COVID-19 is a global crisis that concerns us all. Both Qatar and the world, are preparing for an increase in COVID-19 patients and doing everything in their power to coordinate continuity of care. With cases around the world increasing every day, it is expected that a vast majority of the world’s population will be infected in the coming weeks, if nothing is done now.
Today in Qatar, some health centers are having to focus on screening, outpatient clinics and operations have been affected, healthcare professionals are flocking to the front lines, and people are asked to remain at home for an unidentified period.
Based on a new study in the GCC, published in March, on the impact of COVID-19 on regular care delivery, around 50 percent of all regular care will be cancelled, leading to eight million fewer patient contacts per week and 400,000 care providers being unable to do their jobs. That will result in an immense backlog, which leads to increased waiting lists and poses health threats to patients. As the study says: “This leaves a significant portion of the population unable to access regular care necessary to manage their pre-existing health conditions.”
In Qatar, according to the International Diabetes Federation, 12 percent of the population lives with diabetes, and the World Health Organization (WHO) warns that the most at-risk populations are: “older persons and persons with pre-existing medical conditions such as diabetes”. People with these conditions seem to develop more serious illness when they contract the virus, which is being reflected in our hospitals, as the majority of positive COVID-19 cases admitted to hospital are people living with at least one chronic condition.
This significant group of people in Qatar living with diabetes is at a high risk of becoming severely ill from contracting COVID-19, yet not able to reach the care needed to manage their blood sugar without being exposed to COVID-19 if they visit hospitals.
In order to minimize the impact on regular care delivery and cope with this challenge, remote care must be adopted to support patients with chronic conditions to manage them at home.
In order to minimize the impact on regular care delivery and cope with this challenge, remote care must be adopted to support patients with chronic conditions to manage them at home, preventing complications and limiting hospital visits during this pandemic.
COVID-19 has created an unprecedented opportunity to embrace digital health solutions in a healthcare system that typically relies on in-hospital visits. This care structure contributes to the spread of the virus to uninfected patients, which is especially risky for vulnerable people who have chronic conditions like diabetes and heart disease.
What can slow down COVID-19’s fast-growing impact on patients’ lives in times where clinics are cancelled, hospitals are closed, and appointments are not available? Digital health companies like Droobi Health that provide remote monitoring tools and digital care programs are in a unique position to ease the current pressure on healthcare systems.
Droobi Health Technology is a Qatar-based digital health company, and the first provider of Arabic digital, behavior-change programs that combine the latest technology, data analytics, and behavior change science to support people in managing their chronic condition and improving their overall health. Members receive a personalized self-care plan, digital tracking tools, educational material and access to a health professional via a chat function. This combination leads to a client-centered, personalised, caring and empowering experience, all done remotely without the risk of exposure to COVID-19.
With the effect of COVID-19 on regular healthcare services, healthcare systems have to embrace digital health solutions to provide remote care to people in a way that prioritizes health and safety.
With the effect of COVID-19 on regular healthcare services, healthcare systems have to embrace digital health solutions to provide remote care to people in a way that prioritizes health and safety. In doing so, people living with diabetes, like my parents and yours, can have peace of mind knowing that can still be empowered to take care of their condition, even during a health crisis.
Along with Droobi’s efforts to support patients with diabetes in remotely managing their condition, we are proud to have built the COVI app to help contain and mitigate the spread of the virus. Endorsed by the Ministry of Public Health and supported by the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy, COVI is designed to support Qatar’s diverse community, by increasing awareness, and sharing prevention measures and factual updates related to COVID-19.
Droobi Health is also working on maximizing this application for residents and authorities, by adding enhancements and developing several critical functionalities that will include the identification of high-risk members of society, personalized intervention, and mental health support, in order to serve Qatar in the fight against this pandemic.
We are privileged to have this opportunity to help our community and show solidarity to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and raise the awareness that is critically required to combat the current situation.
For more information, visit www.droobihealth.com