DHA Issues Teleheath Standard for Dubai

Photo: Al Tamimi & Company

In line with Dubai's 'Fifty-year Charter', last month DHA issued the Standards for Telehealth Services ('Standard'). These Standards set out the minimum requirements for the provision of telehealth services, focused on ensuring high quality care delivery and ensuring protection of patient data and confidentiality.

Telehealth services under the Standard include, but are not limited to, scheduling appointments, assessment, providing medical advice, treatment, therapy, laboratory testing, diagnostics, surgery, monitoring chronic conditions, counselling, and prescribing and dispensing of medication.

The Standard divides telehealth into six key areas:

  • Teleconsultation;
  • Telediagnosis;Telemonitoring (remote patient monitoring); 
  • mHealth (mobile health);
  • Telerobotics and robot-assisted services; and
  • Telepharmacy.

Of particular interest is that the Standard sets out frameworks for the use of artificial intelligence, telehealth booths, and tele-robotics and robot-assisted services.

All health facilities or standalone telehealth platforms seeking to provide telehealth service(s) must be licensed by DHA, with specific approval to conduct telehealth services.

The Standard echoes that when it comes to data transmission and storage, compliance is required with Federal Law No. 2 of 2019 Concerning the Use of the Information and Communication Technology in the Area of Health ('ICT Health Law') (For further discussion on the law, see our November 2019 Law Update article entitled 'The Federal law regulating the use of information and communication technology in the UAE healthcare sector'). The 2019 theme of data localisation in the UAE is repeated in the Standard, wherein all data must be stored in a server located in the UAE; exemptions for non-identifiable data to be stored outside the UAE must be approved by DHA, as per the ICT Health Law.

This Standard provides significant amounts of clarity to the 2017 law, and adds welcomed new elements to the telehealth regulatory framework in Dubai.

We further discuss this Standard in our November 2019 Law Update article entitled 'DHA Issues New Standard for Telehealth Services'.

Al Tamimi & Company’s Healthcare Practice regularly advises on laws and regulations impacting the healthcare sector. For further information, please contact healthcare@tamimi.com.

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