Germany’s Bayer has launched Saudi Arabia’s first “digital hub” to improve management of pulmonary hypertension (PH), it has announced.
The AAN Digital Hub – reportedly designed to address gaps in diagnosis and treatment of the condition during the COVID-19 pandemic – focuses on facilitating virtual referrals for patients, as well as enabling knowledge exchange between primary physicians and specialists and their patients.
“At Bayer, our sole purpose is to improve the lives of people and we believe that the digital transformation in healthcare affords us the opportunity to do just that for PH patients in the Kingdom,” said Hussein El Hakim, Managing Director and Commercial Area Head of Pharmaceuticals at Saudi Arabia. “By having a centralised hub for awareness, consultation, and referral, we can not only improve the day-to-day management of PH but increase prevention through early diagnosis and frequent checks among patients.
“We look forward to continuing our support for healthcare innovation in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia as it comes closer to fulfilling Vision 2030.”
THE LARGER CONTEXT
Unveiled at the 15th Annual Conference of the Saudi Association for Pulmonary Hypertension (SAPH), the AAN Digital Hub is a joint collaboration between Bayer and SAPH, the result of a “meeting of experts to discuss the future of PH treatment in the Kingdom.”
As well as offering virtual clinics and knowledge exchange, the platform will also reportedly serve as a detailed registry of PH patients in Saudi Arabia for medical professionals.
Patients will be able to access the hub – available on Android and iOS – during the app’s next release, scheduled to launch between April and May this year.
There is currently limited publicly available data on the prevalence of PH in the Kingdom; however, one 2020 study has indicated that pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) was the most frequent cause of PH, while patients were younger at diagnosis compared to other groups.
ON THE RECORD
“With the management of the COVID-19 pandemic taking precedence, pulmonologists have been challenged in reaching PH patients and delivering the diagnostic and treatment capabilities they need,” said Dr Abdullah Aldalaan, President at SAPH. “This called for a digital-first solution that can adapt to today’s needs while aligning with the National Health Transformation Program.
“With the country’s first digital hub for PH treatment, we seek to remotely address these challenges, close the gap between patients and practitioners, and enhance PH management as a whole in Saudi Arabia.”