Organ transplants are becoming accessible in the UAE
In the past, many patients in need of an organ transplant would need to fly to another country in order to receive the required treatment.
However, this is set to change, following The UAE Ministry of Health and Prevention’s decree that organ transplantation can be facilitated in the country, which was also supported by His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the President of the UAE.
Incorporated for living donors who wish to donate, the Decree now covers three main provisions: death resulting from cardiac-respiratory arrest, death resulting from complete loss of brain functions and paediatric brain death, according to The Khaleej Times. The decree was established in consultation with the General Authority for Islamic Affairs and Endowments.
Set to become available within UAE hospitals, hundreds of medical staff are undergoing the required training in order to provide the required treatment, in addition to building organ transplant units on site and ordering essential equipment in order to undertake such procedures.
Taking effect earlier this year, the Organ Transplant Law will see the possibility of common transplantations, such as kidney and liver transplants, as well as bone marrow transplants. Approximately 2,000 patients in the UAE are on dialysis and waiting for a transplant, according to a recent survey.
- Apollo Hospitals: Personalizing healthcare with technology
- Tech companies are filtering into the US health transportation sector
- American Hospital, Dubai: supporting collaboration within healthcare
Upon death, the patient will undergo a number of tests, including tissue matches, in order to match with a patient in need of a transplant. The process will therefore significantly reduce illegal transplant procedures, which have long been occurring behind closed doors. However, with the new decree in place, offenders will now face life imprisonment.
“It will significantly reduce the number of patients needing to travel abroad for transplants,” said Dr Muhammad Badar Zaman, Head of Transplantation Services at Seha’s Sheikh Khalifa Medical City.
Crucially, the country is now beginning to ask families of patients who are critically ill in hospital, whether they would allow their loved one’s organs to be donated, in order to reduce current waiting lists and provide increased quality of life for other patients.
Dr Tomislav Mihaljevic, CEO Cleveland Abu Dhabi has said: “Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi is developing transplant facilities to support a full range of transplant operations and to provide patients with a high level of care closer to home.
We are working to contribute to the national transplant programme, in-line with recent changes to the legal framework, and – while the donor program will not be in place over night – in time we will be able to promote a wider spectrum of transplant options within the UAE.”
Citizens in the country will now, similarly to the UK, be able to register an Emirates ID card and highlight their donor status. However, since its inception, significant interest has been attained by the public in the UAE.
"We want to establish an environment where people will be motivated to donate their organs to help thousands of patients in need of transplants,” commented Dr Amin Hussein Al Amiri, Assistant Undersecretary for Public Health Policy and Licensing Sector. “It will reduce burden on hospitals, lessen costs on the state and society and urge insurance companies to cover organ transplants,"
The move will also be aligned with the country’s 2021 Vision, which focuses on improving its health care system and the delivery or personalised, patient-centric services to its patients, adopting the highest standards.
How can the healthcare industry build trust with consumers?
One of the many ways the pandemic has impacted society is that it has firmly cast the healthcare industry in the public spotlight. From producing ventilators and PPE to developing life-saving vaccines, consumers have looked to pharmaceutical and healthcare companies to keep us safe and find a way out of the Covid-19 crisis.
As a result, healthcare companies have an opportunity to build upon this and utilise their marketing to drive greater engagement and trust with consumers. When it comes to effective marketing, it’s vital to remember the important role which visuals play. Consumers increasingly engage with brands through the visual communications and storytelling they absorb while online or browsing through media channels. These visual communications can have a huge impact not only on consumer purchasing decisions but also the relationship between brands and customers.
At Getty Images, we work with healthcare companies throughout Europe to advise them on their visual content. This study forms part of the research for our insight platform Visual GPS, which looks at the key factors affecting consumer decision making and how that impacts their visual choices.
In partnership with YouGov, we surveyed 10,000 consumers globally and have been tracking this consumer sentiment for the past two years. This latest deep-dive into the healthcare industry is part of our wider on-going research, and aims to better understand how consumers in different regions are interacting with the healthcare sector and what motivates their visual preferences.
Our research revealed that many companies are not using visuals as effectively as they could. In the UK, for instance, the vast majority of consumers do not feel represented by the visual communications which businesses are producing – only 7% of British respondents to our global Visual GPS survey say they felt represented. That is even lower than the global average of 14%.
This latest deep dive into the healthcare industry has uncovered some important insights that can help us better understand how consumers in different regions are interacting with the healthcare sector.
Mental health should be centre stage
A key finding shows that mental health remains a highly relevant issue for consumers. Over nine in ten British consumers think it is important to talk about mental health and put it on an equal footing with physical and emotional health. Not surprisingly, 55% of British consumers believe that more people are being diagnosed with depression due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
There is a growing awareness of the importance of mental health across Europe. Health and pharmaceutical companies should acknowledge this in their visual communications but do so in an empathetic and compassionate way. Only five years ago, visuals around mental health often depicted people alone, isolated and expressing feelings of shame, whereas now we are seeing a more empathetic and supportive approach to visualising mental health - with an increasing number of positive visuals showing support groups, or individuals proactively seeking and finding support.
Visual communications that show support for mental well-being in a meaningful way will resonate deeply with consumers.
A more holistic approach
Another key finding is that consumers want to focus more on holistic health. Our survey found that the majority of UK consumers place an almost equal importance on emotional, physical and mental health, and almost three quarters (73%) placed the health and well-being of family as a top priority.
It’s important that healthcare companies reflect this. Our research paired with ongoing image testing revealed that consumers want to see visuals that humanise healthcare, so companies should consider visualising inclusive care across intersecting factors such as age, ethnicity and gender. Brands can help establish trust with their customers by highlighting a collaborative relationship between medical professional and patient, as well as ensuring that their visual choices feel genuine.
Technology and innovation in healthcare are gaining traction
Thirdly, eHealth and purposeful innovation was another key finding. Consumers want innovation that will meaningfully support their care. Particularly in Europe, the older generation will pay more for brands that use technology to provide advice and recommendations, while Gen Z & Millennials are willing to pay for self-service capabilities. It’s important therefore for healthcare companies to incorporate purposeful innovation in their visual communication and demonstrate consumers at the centre of accessible eHealth.
Given these insights, what visual content do consumers expect to see from pharmaceutical brands? Our research highlighted three key themes.
- Consumers want to see how healthcare companies fit into people’s lives. Accessible health services are a key factor here. Decision makers should build trust by showing consumers at the centre of a holistic healthcare ecosystem.
- Consumers want to see the emotional rewards others get from using a healthcare company. This can be achieved by building brand loyalty through empathetic and inclusive visual storytelling.
- Finally, consumers want to see people who are similar to them and their lives. British consumers want to see people that look like them and reflect their lived experiences in advertising and brand communication. Decision-makers should ensure that their visual communication is inclusive and authentic and represents the diverse population of the market in which they’re operating.
Ultimately, the key to successful visual storytelling for pharma and healthcare businesses is to ensure that they understand what matters to their audience while establishing trust of care. An important element of this is authentically representing the full spectrum of the population. That means representing all ethnicities, ages, abilities, body shapes, sexuality, religion and genders, to ensure patients of all backgrounds feel included and represented.
Healthcare brands should bear in mind that, as a result of the pandemic’s impact on healthcare systems around the world, consumers may be feeling anxious about whether they will be able to access care if they need it. The healthcare industry has an opportunity to reassure customers and build greater engagement and trust by showing them that they matter through inclusive visuals that represents them authentically at the heart of brand storytelling.