theClinicians: A Free Telemedicine Mobile App for clinicians in Saudi Arabia Gains a New Update



theClinicians is a mobile communication application for physicians. It's begin developed by Saudi Telecommunication Company (STC) to ease communication among medical specialists and consultants.


The project started in 2016 and gain some popularity at that time. It's a completely free application that doesn't require any fee for its users and it's also totally ad-free application with no hidden fee or costs.


The primary users for the app are licensed physicians by the Saudi Council for Health Specialties.

The app works seamlessly on Android and iOS devices and it even supports older versions for iOS and Android.

Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia map


• Saudi Arabia is geographically the largest sovereign state in Western Asia, the second-largest in the Arab world (after Algeria), the fifth-largest in Asia, and the 12th-largest in the world. (Quote: Wikipedia).
• It has about 20 large cities, Riyadh is the capital city, Jeddah, Mecca, Medina, Hofuf, and Taeif.
• Most of the medical professionals are not Saudi nationals.
• There are gov owned and private health-care service providers.
• The government is deepening on many private healthcare service providers: Hospitals, labs and radiology centers.

theClinicians: history

theClinicians (src: official website)


As the project started it, it gained the attention of the national media and started its first marketing campaign. The project won first place for the King Khaled Prize. However, It released its first usage report at the end of 2016 and it was promising.

It received frequent updates that improved several of its features as some bug fixes. In early August the project gets a major update that improved many of its features and added patient communication support alongside the patient portal.

The app download statistics at Google PlayStore is between 1000 and 5000.

Features:

Screenshot (src: official website)


• The app is easy to use with a simple yet powerful user-interface
• Supports multiple media formats
• All doctors are registered and authorized by  the Saudi Council for Health Specialties.
• Questions-flow manager
• Completely free
• Ad-free; there is no distracting advertisement anywhere in the app
• Private and secure: the messages and the records are not stored on any server
• HIPAA compliant
• Patient portal: the doctors can easily follow-up with their patients
• Supports Arabic and English
• Temporary link for patient's communication that is removed and disabled soon as the conversation ends

Covid-19 pandemic and theClinicians app's new update

The importance of the new update which features patient portal during the COVID-19 global crisis is:

• Minimize patients waiting list which leads to less crowded clinics and hospitals waiting rooms.
• improve the clinical workflow for remote patients
• ease the follow-up process
• safe, direct and efficient channel for getting doctor's instructions

What's missing?


• Missing specialties and subspecialties (dentistry)
• Limited number of users physicians and specialists
• The project didn't get updates for three years until August 2020
• Limited downloads from Google's Android PlayStore
• The old version contained several bugs
• There is no recent usage report

theClinicians gamification system


While building a gamification system ensures valid and productive contribution among the doctors it also improves patient satisfaction as well as the usage rate among its primary users. theClinicians app has a gamification system with reward badges for actively contributed doctors.

Conclusion

theClinicians app is a successful national telemedicine project, however, we can't say for sure how successful it is without recent usage reports or new user reviews.

At the end of this post I would like to thank Dr. Faten Farid for recommending this app.

Resources

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Hamza Mu Author: Hamza Mu

A physician with programming skills, Linux user since late 1990s, Open source supporter. Coding with Python, NodeJS (Meteor, VueJS, Express, D3, PhantomJS), SmallTalk & R language.





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