Doctor for Every Citizen: Telehealth Visits at Dubai Health Authority during COVID-19 Pandemic in Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Alnakhi, Wafa K
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Background: Digital health significantly affects healthcare delivery. Moreover, empirical studies on the utilization of telehealth in Dubai are limited. Accordingly, this study examines the utilization of telehealth services in Dubai Health Authority (DHA) facilities and the factors associated with telehealth appointment completion and turnaround time. Methods: This cross-sectional study examines patients who used telehealth services in DHA from 2020 through 2021 using 241,822 records. A binary logistic regression model was constructed to investigate the association between appointment turnaround time as a dependent variable and patient and visit characteristics as independent variables. Results: Of the total scheduled telehealth visits, more than three-quarter (78.55%) were completed. Older patients, non-Emiratis, patients who had their visits in 2020, patients who had video visits, and those who sought family medicine as a specialty had a shorter turnaround time to receive their appointment. Conclusions: This study identifies several characteristics associated with the turnaround time. Moreover, technological improvements focusing on specialties that can readily be addressed through telehealth and further research in this domain will improve service provision and support building an evidence-base in the government sector of the emirate of Dubai.