The nascent but fast-growing telemedicine industry in Bahrain and the broader GCC region has witnessed a sharp spike in demand in the months since the COVID-19 pandemic began. According to a recently published report by Think Tank Derasat, the growth in demand can be partially attributed to government bodies across the region that have been urging healthcare providers to increasingly focus on telemedicine services.
The telemedicine model is a good fit in the wake of the pandemic as it enables doctors to deliver remote consultation and clinical services using a computer to smartphone.
The report follows a recent announcement by UAE-based vHealth that its telemedicine platform saw a 500% increase in usage between March and Sept 2020.
Commenting on the report’s findings, Dr. Omar Al-Ubaydli, Head of Research, Derasat, said: “Many doctors have switched to telemedicine effortlessly – and luckily a lot of the previous investments in digital infrastructure are starting to pay off. For example, remote payment is very easy in Bahrain and everyone has high-speed internet access, and consequently, there’s been a rapid transition to telemedicine that’s very effective and sustained.”
It is worth noting here that healthcare is one of the critical policy focus areas for Bahrain as far as its socioeconomic doctrine Vision 2030 is concerned. The Kingdom wants to establish itself as a global hub for modern medicine, as well as high-quality and financially sustainable healthcare services.