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Clinical and Community Connections in Saudi Arabia

Johns Hopkins Medicine International initiated the Distinguished Faculty Visitor program in 2015 to connect with clinicians, colleagues and community members at Johns Hopkins Aramco Healthcare (JHAH). During these visits, senior Johns Hopkins faculty give accredited Grand Rounds to clinicians, round with physicians to consult on treatments, and discuss the latest advances in their respective specialties. Our distinguished faculty members also provide outreach lectures to share practical medical information directly with Saudi Aramco employees and their families.

Here are how some recent visitors are supporting clinical collaboration and community education as part of our shared work at JHAH.

Causes and Consequences of Low Iron
Anemia — a condition in which a person lacks enough healthy red blood cells to carry adequate oxygen to the body’s tissues — comes in many forms, including iron deficiency anemia, cancer-related anemia and sickle cell anemia.

Each condition has its own causes and requires tailored treatment.

Dr. Alison Moliterno, associate professor of medicine and hematology medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, recently gave a talk on “Anemia: Causes and Consequences of Low Iron” to about 90 members of the JHAH community as part of the Distinguished Faculty Visitor program.

Dr. Moliterno also met with colleagues in JHAH’s Oncology Institute and its Blood Disorders Center. They discussed the best diagnostic and treatment options for patients with myelodysplastic/myeloproliferative disorders, a group of diseases in which the body makes too many white or red blood cells that can lead to heart attacks, strokes and blood clots.

Brain Pain
Although headaches don’t typically grab health care headlines, they are the most common neurological problem, and they come with a cost much higher than their physical toll.

Dr. Christopher Oakley frequently speaks to the public and to health care providers to bring attention to migraines and other headaches, especially in the pediatric population. He is an assistant professor of neurology and director of Johns Hopkins’ Pediatric Headache Clinic — and a longstanding migraine sufferer himself.

Dr. Oakley recently presented a Grand Rounds on pediatric headaches to help his clinical colleagues at JHAH better serve children and adolescents with these common but potentially disabling conditions. He also gave an outreach lecture titled “Brain Pain – What Is New in Concussion?” to 160 members of the extended JHAH community.

Additionally, Dr. Oakley saw patients in the neurology clinic and participated in a roundtable discussion at JHAH’s Botox clinic, where they use the injection as an effective treatment for many adult neurologic disorders, including spasticity, twitching, abnormal sweating and headache.

Digital Twin Technology
Many high-hazard industries like oil and gas, airlines and mining create virtual models — or twins — of a process, product or service based on real-time data and then apply artificial intelligence to run scenarios and make decisions in the real world.

This pairing of the physical and virtual worlds improves data analysis and systems monitoring to head off potential problems, prevent downtime and develop new opportunities by using simulations.

During a recent Distinguished Faculty Visit at JHAH, Johns Hopkins’ Dr. Mohamed Rehman discussed how digital twins could revolutionize health care operations as well as patient care.

Dr. Rehman, chair of the Department of Anesthesia at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital, presented the lecture “From Industry to Health Care: Application of Digital Twin Technology” to about 65 attendees from Saudi Aramco and JHAH. He explained the significant value of using digital twins to address potential technical issues in medical systems and devices to ensure continuity of patient care.

He also discussed applying this concept and ultimately creating a lifelong, personalized model of a patient that includes behavioral and genetic data that can be updated with every new measurement, scan and exam.

Also an expert in clinical informatics, Dr. Rehman leads one of the few teams in the world that is using real-time, consumer-level medical data to improve quality, safety and value in patient care. He shared insights of this work with his JHAH colleagues and presented a Grand Rounds, “Clinical Informatics in 2020: Using Data to Improve Outcomes,” during his visit.


Global Promise Editor

Global Promise Editor curates content to help spark conversation among health care professionals, influencers and others who are committed to improving the health of individuals and communities worldwide through collaboration across borders.

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