NABIDH Logo

With over 3 million residents, Dubai is the most populous city in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Dubai is the capital of the Emirate of Dubai.

The Dubai Health Authority has an ambitious plan to unify healthcare across the Emirate through the introduction of a new healthcare platform – NABIDH (The Network & Analysis Backbone for Integrated Dubai Health).

NABIDH, which is Arabic for pulse, securely unifies patient health records that were previously distributed across Dubai’s public and private healthcare network. The health information exchange is powered by InterSystems’ HealthShare interoperability platform, which was implemented by J2 Interactive in partnership with InterSystems and IBM.

The Dubai Health Authority Interoperability Project

As part of this project, J2 Interactive integrated NABIDH with a number of local health systems and hospitals, utilizing a variety of internationally recognized data standards — and, in doing so, established a robust baseline for further integration with additional healthcare providers throughout Dubai.

In addition to the normalized clinical data repository provided by the HealthShare Unified Care Record, J2 worked with InterSystems and IBM to introduce a suite of HealthShare solutions that put this data directly in the hands of patients and their providers.

These solutions include the Clinical Viewer, which shares a patient’s comprehensive longitudinal record within existing clinical workflows, and a ground-breaking patient portal that securely provides a complete medical history in both English and Arabic. J2 also developed a comprehensive consent model to ensure security and data integrity, as well as customized rules to disambiguate patient identity through the careful and appropriate linking of data from various disparate systems.

Finally, J2 implemented InterSystems’ powerful analytics tool, HealthShare Health Insight, to give the Dubai Health Authority a more complete view of population health and quality of care across the entire NABIDH community.

NABIDH Network Map

The Project Timeline

The project took just under a year to complete, with participation from key stakeholders across the United Arab Emirates government and the Dubai Health Authority, in addition to each of the facilities that provided access to their patients’ records. It was a truly international undertaking, with close collaboration by engineers and subject matter experts from J2, InterSystems, IBM, and the DHA spread across eleven time zones. Moreover, NABIDH’s implementation of HealthShare was a demonstration of great determination and resilience in the face of significant challenges posed by the global pandemic.

The Results of the Dubai Interoperability Initiative

As of 15th November 2021, the NABIDH HIE manages over 7 million patient medical records within HealthShare. The platform has successfully integrated more than 200 medical facilities using 25 different EMR systems. Over 26,000 physicians use NABIDH on a daily basis to support their decision-making and provide better healthcare to their patients.

Enabled by the work done by J2 and InterSystems, the DHA has also defined new clinical data coding terminologies, interoperability and data exchange standards, technical and operational standards, and health information security standards to be followed by all healthcare providers under its jurisdiction. These policy changes, supported by the technical foundation laid by J2, will pave the way for further improvements in the years to come.

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J2 Interactive is an award-winning software development and IT consulting firm that specializes in customized solutions for healthcare and life sciences.

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