The Sidra Medical and Research Center will make public health information available on mobile phones, chief research adviser David Kerr told Gulf Times yesterday.
He was speaking shortly before the commencement of the media roundtable sessions on health sciences, held ahead of the grand opening of the Qatar Science and Technology Park (QSTP) scheduled for today evening.
“We will exploit the electronic media to support our clinical trials. Another interesting idea is to use e-health through mobile phones because almost everybody in Qatar has one,” he said.
Kerr believed the system would create easy access to public health information and provide instant solutions to some health concerns before the patients come to hospitals.
“Sidra will be one of the most advanced hospitals in the region and tap e-health facilities and information technology to make cutting edge researches in terms of building clinical trials in treatments, stem cell research and so on,” he said.
On the prevalence of genetic diseases due to consanguinity in the region, he said: “Initially, we will try our best to better understand the basis of these genetic diseases within the region. Once we understand the problem we will try to see what we can do to assist diagnosis and treatment and possibly we might be able to come up with other treatments suggestions.”
Kerr hinted that some 500–600 world-class scientists will be coming to work in Sidra when its research buildings are ready within the next three years.
“With this strong workforce, I believe we can build a bio-medical research institute in Sidra, which will make a very significant contribution toward the healthcare in Qatar,” he said adding that “as a bio-medical researcher, I believe QSTP will provide a fantastic opportunity for us to create both health and wealth for the benefit of the Qatari population.”
“We should be able to take some of the new ideas in research, new products and drugs to levels that will not only support healthcare in Qatar but create wealth as well. I am delighted to be able to bring my ideas to work with partners here in investigating and initiating researches on diseases common here,” he noted.
Kerr stressed on the high incidence of diabetes in the region, noting that plans are on the cards in this regard. He added that with the stem cell laboratory, the hospital hoped to explore and use the understanding of stem cell to tackle diseases like diabetes and cancer.
“We hope to bring research issues of breast cancer and colorectal cancer, which are the two most prevalent cancer in women and men respectively,” he said.
Kerr added that to achieve its aim of building a world-class research, Sidra has established research links with the Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar, MD Anderson Cancer Centre, US and the University of Oxford, believing that through the power of partnership the centre would be able to initiate many scientific programmes.
Kerr said the hospital is keen to partner with Hamad Medical Corporation in adding research dimension to its already super healthcare system in order to make HH Sheikha Mozah Nasser al-Misnad’s vision of creating a world-class research community a reality.
“If I were to describe the hallmark of Sidra, I will say great science, better medicine and best clinical practice,” he added.
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