Abdullah encyclopedia makes health info available to Arabs

Saudi e-Health Conference 2012More than 300 million Arabic-speaking population from all parts of the globe would benefit from the “King Abdullah Health Encyclopedia,” Prince Muqrin, chief of general intelligence said yesterday.

The prince was opening the Saudi e-Health Conference 2012 at the King Faisal Conference Hall. The three-day conference is sponsored by the King Saud bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences in cooperation with the Saudi Association for Health Informatics (SAHI) with the support of several other commercial partners.Health Minister Dr. Abdullah Al-Rabeeah also addressed the gathering at the inauguration, which was followed by an exhibition that was opened by Prince Muqrin.

The prince said the first session of the conference would be devoted to demonstrate the salient features of the encyclopedia. “Saudi Arabia does not stand alone in the development of health informatics, it has the support and assistance of countries in the region and in other parts of the world in developing the information technology in the Kingdom,” the prince noted.Two years ago, Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah gave the green light for the encyclopedia following an initiative by the King Saud bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences.

The e-health conference is the largest of its kind in the Middle East. Its purpose is to bring together both health care providers and information technologists to empower the advancements in the delivery quality, and continuity of health care.Al-Rabeeah said electronic health is one of the major foundations for the success of modern health care, and that the state had given this sector key importance, provided an outstanding work force to take care of it, and had established consultative committees representing all health sectors.

Al-Rabeeah said that the ministry had set out a strategic health care plan for the next 10 years that also includes the project for electronic health. The e-health program undertaken by the ministry helps health providers to deliver accurate information to the patient, and develop cooperation with other sectors while tackling these challenges especially in connection with the increase in the number of car accidents, outbreak of flu and chronic diseases.The electronic health system is of high quality and it focuses on the patient. He also said that the e-health scheme helps the ministry to monitor the movement of infectious diseases in the Kingdom and to operate a foolproof system in its referral scheme.

President of King Saud bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences Dr. Bandar Al-Knawy said the conference coincides with the implementation of the King Abdullah Health Encyclopedia, which was assigned to National Guard Health Affairs for implementation under the umbrella of the health services council in cooperation with SAHI.“The encyclopedia was adopted to serve millions of Arabs in various parts of the world to enable them to access accurate health information for public health purposes and to promote individual and community work, Al-Knawy, who is also the head of National Guard Health Affairs, said.

SAHI President and Conference Chairman Majid Al-Tuwaijri said the meeting aims to introduce e-health and its related issues and topics that are of interest to the participants in the health care domain.The conference will provide many opportunities for interaction and promote the national electronic health initiative launched by the Ministry of Health.

The association, through this conference, aims to focus on introducing key concepts, issues and applications in applied health informatics, the discipline addressing the preparation for, and the procurement, deployment, implementation, effective usage, and evaluation of health informatics solutions in the health care systems.