Jordan Ministry of Health Utilizes Cisco Technology for Radiology Services

Jordan’s Ministry of Health Utilizes Cisco Technology Solutions to Pilot Affordable, High-Quality Radiology Services in the Kingdom

Cisco– At a press conference hosted at The MENA ICT Forum 2014, Jordan’s Ministry of Health (MoH), Cisco and strategic partners Merge Healthcare and Optimiza, unveiled the Cisco Service Exchange Platform (SXP) for Radiology pilot. This pilot delivers affordable high-quality radiology services to public hospitals in the region including underserved areas where there are limited or no radiology specialists. This marks the fourth major project to be launched through the Jordan Healthcare Initiative (JHI), a public private partnership between Cisco, its strategic partners and the Jordanian Government.

Cisco Service Exchange Platform (SXP), the first service exchange cloud for radiology to be piloted in the Middle East and Africa, offers a cloud-based platform that integrates picture archiving and communication system (pacs), radiology information system (ris), and Cisco collaboration software. The Cisco SXP for Radiology cloud-based platform will provide radiology services to three MoH hospitals in Jordan – Al-Bashir hospital in Amman, Al-Mafraq Governmental Hospital in the northeast and Queen Rania Hospital in the south. Additional hospitals can be connected into the cloud post-market trial using the same SXP platform. This cloud-enabled access to PACS-as-a-services allows hospitals to realize savings from eliminating film and achieve faster turnaround times for radiology reads by providing the facility to retrieve medical images stored on the cloud.

The digitizing of medical images combined with Cisco’s collaboration technology enable improvements in the quality of care for patients – radiology studies can be read remotely by the right radiologist for the type of exam; and local doctors in rural area hospitals can collaborate more effectively with radiology specialists located in Amman.

Highlights/Key Facts:

  • The Cisco Service Exchange Platform (SXP) offers a cloud-based solution that enables people to people, people to machine, machine to machine, and machine to business process connections and provides access to end users across platforms regardless of data origin or device. Users sign on once through a single, secure portal.
  • The solution will provide a state-of-the-art PACS as-a-service on Cisco’s SXP platform that also includes WebEx, Collaboration, and Data Center Virtualization technologies. The services will be delivered by Cisco, in collaboration with the Government of Jordan, Merge Healthcare (a leading PACS and Radiology solution provider), and Optimiza, a local Cisco Gold solution partner.
  • Al-Bashir hospital in Amman, the largest public hospital in Jordan supporting the majority of the MoH’s 2.2 million radiology studies every year, will provide remote reads and consultations from its local radiology specialists to Al-Mafraq Governmental Hospital and Queen Rania Hospital.
  • The pilot is expected to demonstrate that high-quality PACS, collaboration and Radiology Information System services technologies can be delivered at less than half of the current market cost per study. Given that approximately three-fourths of the world has inadequate access to radiology services, this would open a market for developing and underserved areas to have access to vital health services. As the first service exchange cloud for radiology in the Middle East and Africa it will demonstrate how technology can transform the delivery and economics of health services such as radiology.
  • The Cisco SXP for Radiology solution pilot went live in Jordan in July 2014 and the nine-month structured market trial includes training; workflow optimization; and change management for radiologists, administrators, and referring physicians enrolled in the Cisco SXP for Radiology exchange. 

Executive Quotes:

H.E. Dr. Ali Hyasat, Jordan’s Minister of Health

“In Jordan, like many countries in MENA, rural and remote areas often lack specialized physicians.  The projects we are undertaking with Cisco and its strategic partners through the Jordan Healthcare Initiative are already helping to bridge this gap, and we are now able to provide specialty healthcare services to rural areas in north- east and southern Jordan in need of specialized clinical care. This is yet another initiative as part of the National Broadband Network (NBN) project, which is enabling the creation of a National Broadband infrastructure which is connecting Health, eGov and Education across the Kingdom” 

Dr. Issam Shreideh,Director General at ABH

“Cisco and its strategic partners are now enabling healthcare professionals in Jordan to collaborate more easily, regardless of location, thus lowering the costs whilst also improving both the timeliness and the quality of care delivered. With the introduction of innovative state-of-the art technology solutions such as the Cisco Service Exchange platform we will be able to provide consultation and medical care to Jordanian citizens in even the most remote underserved areas easily and at a fraction of the cost.”  

Justin C. Dearborn, Chief Executive Officer, Merge Healthcare

“This joint initiative is crucial in continuing to address the insufficient distribution of medical practitioners and specialists outside Amman, thereby enabling us to provide affordable, high-quality radiology services to underserved, remote regions in the Kingdom. By partnering with the Government and Cisco we are transforming the delivery and economics of health services such as radiology in Jordan.” 

Majed Sifri, Chief Executive Officer, Optimiza

“We are delighted to be partnering with The Government of Jordan and Cisco to bring about such profound change in terms of delivery of healthcare to the citizens of Jordan particularly those living in rural areas. Our primary objective is to use information and communications technologies (ICT) to provide better access to quality healthcare, reduce costs, and empower patients and thereby provide a better quality of life and care to all citizens.” 

Laura Quintana, senior director of Corporate Affairs, Cisco

“We are proud to be able to continue to extend Cisco’s collaboration with the Government of Jordan and remain focused on our joint goal to transform healthcare delivery and continue to increase access to quality healthcare services for people in remote and underserved communities in Jordan. Cisco’s commitment to Jordan remains steadfast as we identify opportunities to accelerate its growth and development as a major regional ICT regional leader not only in healthcare but also contributing to facilitating increased innovation and job creation through our venture capital commitments. Likewise, our Cisco Networking Academy Program is helping to fulfill Jordan’s demand for ICT and is teaching over 1,700 students annually at 18 academies, the skills needed to design, build, manage and secure computer networks.”