Sehatuna, a groundbreaking Israeli telemedicine initiative, will offer online medical guidance and support to Arabic speakers suffering from diabetes around the world.
Israel’s Gertner Institute at the Sheba Medical Center in Tel Aviv this month launched Sehatuna (“our health” in Arabic), an online platform in Arabic dedicated to providing medical support and guidance on diabetes.
This first of its kind virtual community which functions in Arabic will facilitate consultations with Israeli medical professionals, connect diabetes patients from all over the world, and feature a variety of articles on nutrition, medicine, and new diabetes treatments.
The site has already been visited by more than 4,500 individuals from a range of Arab countries including Iraq, Jordan, and Egypt.
Sehatuna was established with support from the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Regional Cooperation. The Gertner Institute, which already manages thirty-five online medical communities in Israel in Hebrew, laid the groundwork for Sehatuna after receiving multiple requests from users to establish a diabetes community for Arabic speakers.
A Service for Millions in Middle Eastern and North African Countries
The Middle East has displayed the second highest rate of diabetes increases anywhere in the world, and Sehatuna has the potential to serve millions of Arabic speakers from Middle Eastern and North African countries.
“Sehatuna is a welcome first-step in making telemedicine services available to the Arab sector and will allow the Arab population to use the platform effectively to raise awareness about diabetes,” notes Professor Naim Shehadeh, who manages the website with Dr. Hashem Bsisi, a physician at the Hadassah Ein Kerem hospital in Jerusalem. Shehadeh, is the President of the Israel Diabetes Association and Director of the Institute of Endocrinology and Diabetes at the Rambam Hospital in Haifa.
Both physicians who are fluent in Arabic and members of the Israeli-Arab community monitor the platform and respond to questions from users who seek more information about diabetes.
Important Resource for Diabetics
The platform also serves as a social network for users who interact with other diabetes patients and offer guidance, support, and encouragement. Tami Shifter, Director of Social Networks at the Gertner Institute, highlights Sehatuna’s communal aspect as an important resource for individuals affected by diabetes.
“Sehatuna is a support system for patients and their families who access the site and exchange ideas and tips with one another. This is an important factor in managing the disease,” Shifter explained.