The Dominica China Friendship Hospital (DCFH) is well on its way to becoming the first digital hospital in the Caribbean region.

The digitization of Government processes is quickly becoming a reality as government continues to digitize health processes through a national health management information system. 

Chief Executive Officer of the Dominica China Friendship Hospital Dr. William Dexter James says the completion of this project could mean the complete transformation of Dominica’s health system.   

“Our vision is to have the country as a whole, but more specifically the Hospital Authority, established as the first digital hospital in the region. This is an opportunity that we have and I don’t think it is an estuary dream. It is a real as we believe it is. If we are able to get this project rolled out over the next three to four years, we can actually transform the entire public health system and make it a truly digital hospital between the primary care and the hospitals as well,” Dr. James stated.

One of the major upcoming transformations for the DCFH is the introduction of artificial energy in diagnosing diabetic retinopathy.

Dr. James says through the introduction of this new project, district nurses could be trained to use the technology to increase access to additional health care on the island.

“This is groundbreaking. There is no other country in the region that is looking at using artificial intelligence as a way of diagnosing diabetic retinopathy. When that project is validated, it means that artificial intelligence can now diagnose diabetic retinopathy. So what we can now do is train up nurses at the district level to dilate the eyes, take the photo of the eye, and input the study in the software and the software will tell you if you have diabetic retinopathy,” Dr. James explained.

In 2020, 8.5 million US dollars to support the implementation of a health management information system was approved through the World Bank’s Caribbean Digital Transformation Project.

This project will open several new avenues for the public health care system to include how patients gain access the necessary health care services.

Dr. James emphasized one of the key elements of this project will be the unification of the country’s health system through digitization.

“It opens up each citizen by providing citizens with a secure portal that they could log into it with the proper credentials have access to the held information, book appointments, cancel appointments, pay bills online; I mean those are exciting times. It also allows for the seamless movement of patients between the hospital and primary care so that when we treat a patient at the hospital, it is not a different patient when they go to the primary care level and vice versa.