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Healthcare Issues / 23 Jun 2021

MoHAP, EHS reveal first blood test to evaluate mild Traumatic Brain Injury (mTBI) within 15 minutes

MoHAP, EHS reveal first blood test to evaluate mild Traumatic Brain Injury (mTBI) within 15 minutes

The Ministry of Health and Prevention (MoHAP) and the Emirates Health Services (EHS), in cooperation with Abbott, revealed the first rapid blood test designed to evaluate mild Traumatic Brain Injury (mTBI) within 15 minutes, which allows injured persons to receive the required treatment at the fastest time. The world's first FDA-approved test provides test results with 95.8% sensitivity.

This came during the participation of both entities at the Arab Health 2021, running at Dubai from 21-24 June.

This comes as part of the relentless efforts being made by the ministry and the EHS to make a paradigm shift in healthcare services, improve patient experience, and enhance the quality and safety of multidisciplinary health services. It is also aligned with both entities' strenuous endeavors to deliver comprehensive and innovative healthcare services and attract novel innovations in medical technologies in order to enhance the quality and patient safety which are considered the foundations for the development of the healthcare sector. 

The test will run on a handheld i-STAT™ Alinity™ platform. The test requires a small blood sample drawn from the arm, from which plasma is extracted. This test measures specific proteins present in the blood after a TBI. A negative result on this test can be used to rule out the need for a head CT scan, a common tool used to diagnose a concussion. For those who test positive, this test result complements CT scans to help clinicians evaluate whether someone has a TBI.

Promoting partnerships with prestigious medical research centers

Speaking on the importance of this novel innovative test, HE Dr. Youssef Mohamed Al Serkal, Director-General of the Emirates Health Services, said this test is one of the most important diagnostic tests that help in the evaluation and detection of mild brain injuries, which usually occurs after falling down or experiencing car accidents, explaining that this new technology will help clinicians assess and detect brain injuries and concussions as fast as possible with accurate results.

He pointed out that MoHAP and EHS pay special attention to promoting partnerships with the prestigious medical research centers from around the world in order to achieve our strategy aimed at enhancing community health, providing world-class and comprehensive healthcare services, and embracing creating thinking as a work methodology to ensure the readiness to the future. 

Al-Serkal highlighted the efforts exerted by MoHAP and EHS to strengthen the capacities of healthcare facilities and develop their infrastructure, adopt innovation and new technologies, utilize therapeutic protocols and guidelines to improve the healthcare quality, provide the latest strategies to improve and develop the clinical and laboratory work and improve the treatment according to best global practices. 

Instant access to patient clinical information

Dr. Kalthum Al Balushi, Director of Hospitals Department, EHS, underlined that the addition of i-the STAT Alinity TBI to the diagnostic tests of the laboratory is a significant step forward to help clinicians better assess patients with suspected concussions. In addition, the test provides instant access to patient clinical information and development of his medical condition to avoid unnecessary tests, she added.

With this new technology, there's no need for patients to be hospitalized for longer periods, which mitigates the financial burden on the healthcare system, said Al Al Balushi, adding that this innovative blood test could help overcome so many challenges in emergency units.

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