Environmental effect of healthcare Decarbonization Through Telemedicine

Monday 14 Nov 2022

During COP7 taking place in Sharm El Sheikh, at the Innovation zone, Sanofi, the innovative global healthcare company, in collaboration with Ain shams university announce the publication of the first-of-its-kind in Egypt & Africa Greenhouse Gases (GHG) emissions reduction report resulting from Telemedicine, piloting Atopic Dermatitis & Asthma virtual clinics in Ain shams university Hospital, as part of its responsibility to decarbonize the healthcare through the patientcare pathway.

Decarbonization Through Telemedicine

 The study technically is conducted by D-carbon according to environmental accounting standards and methods.

The panel discussion was privileged by the presence of His Excellence Prof. Dr. Khaled Abdel Ghafar, the minister of health who shared his view about the digital health and health tech in Egypt to reach patients in remote areas. During his contribution to the panel, he praised Ain Shams university in adopting the concept of telemedicine in its hospital to materialize the 2030 vision for sustainable healthcare.
Prof. Dr. Mahmoud El-Meteini, President of Ain Shams University
"We are also mindful of our obligation to do everything we can to ensure a healthy planet," said Prof. Dr. Mahmoud El-Meteini, President of Ain Shams University. As part of our commitment to supporting Egypt's healthcare sector decarbonization, we are working to reduce the direct and indirect environmental impacts of our activities and patients’ services aiming at to contribute to decarbonize the healthcare inline with Egypt vision 2030. Therefore, the partnership with Sanofi and Dcarbon to establish a pilot for the virtual clinics reflects the university vision to implement sustainable healthcare services for the Egyptian patients while persevering the climate change to meet the UN goals for well being and climate action.
Paul Hudson, Chief Executive Officer, Sanofi

“We need to identify new ways to deliver care that improve outcomes while reducing emissions from the patient care pathway. By piloting a study on telemedicine with Ain Shams University and DCarbon, Sanofi Egypt is breaking new ground to raise awareness on the opportunities linked to the decarbonization of healthcare systems. Early results demonstrate the benefit of telemedicine, showing not only a 74% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions but also reductions in treatment burden which can lead to better compliance.  It is an important first step in collecting real-world evidence that will help scale, in Egypt and across the world, sustainable patient care pathways.”  
The panel discussion was attended by high level esteemed guest of honors, Major General Bahaa El-Din Zeidan is the Director of the Galaa Medical Complex of the Egyptian Armed Forces and Chairman of the Egyptian Authority for Unified Procurement, Medical Supply and Supply and Medical Technology Department (UPA), Prof. Dr. Tamer Essam, Chairman of Egyptian Drug Authority, Dr Hossam AbdelGhaffar , Deputy MOH and Dr Ahmed El Sobky, Head of Egyptian Healthcare Authority.

Healthcare decarburization through the tele-medicine
Sanofi is sharing its experience in utilizing innovative solutions to integrate social and environmental elements into the healthcare to reach more patients and reduce physical consultation to bring transportation GHG emissions to a minimum.

The first of its kind in the middle east tele-medicine platform to serve the specialty care diseases (Atopic Dermatitis – Asthma)

The Virtual Clinics project was launched in collaboration with Sanofi, and Ain Shams University (ASU) through its public hospital Al Demerdash, one of the most prestigious university public hospitals in Egypt.  The project aims to reduce the time spent in referrals across different Type II Inflammation , to facilitate Atopic Dermatitis and Asthma patient virtual consultation and follow-up to avoid patient physical traffic, and to capitalise on the co-benefits associated with the project's implementation by reducing GHG emissions caused by patients' transportation to and from the hospital.
The healthcare sector is responsible for 5% of total net emissions and the patient care pathway accounts for over 45% of that total.  

The study discussed the outcomes of the white paper of the GHG emissions impact of 108 asthma and atopic dermatitis patients at Ain Shams University who enrolled in the Virtual Clinic. Following an in-person consultation visit with their physician, the patients were followed using the Virtual Clinic.

Based on initial intake information, ~73% of patients travelled by private car to the hospital visit and ~27% travelled by public transportation.

Initial analysis showed that use of the Virtual Clinic reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 74.2% compared to physical in-person visits (24.035 ton Co2eq/year with in-person visits vs 6.275 ton CO2eq/year). The study also projected the impact if 100% of patients had previously travelled by private car- the projected reduction in  GHG emissions would increase to ~80%.
Beyond the reduction in GHG emissions, which is significant, use of the Virtual Clinic can also have a positive impact on health outcomes due to better compliance and follow-up, financial impact to patients, greater reach.

We are in a new era of healthcare – we need to leverage all of our resources and explore new ways to deliver patient care that support patient outcomes while mitigating the impact on the environment.
We look forward to continuing the pilot program to gather important information on the impact on GHG emissions.

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