VIRTUAL CARE FOR MANAGEMENT OF OBESITY
INTERVIEW WITH DR. MAAZ UL HASSAN
By Katya Kroupnik
Meet Dr. Maaz Ul Hassan (FCPS — Pakistan, FLS — USA, holder of a Diploma in Laparoscopic Surgery — France), a world-renown surgeon, holder of a Guinness World Record and thought-leader in the medical community. Dr. Hassan has been transforming the lives and health of his patients through surgery, and has been using RingMD’s telemedicine platform to improve pre- and post-operation support and continuity of care for these patients.
Below is an excerpt from a recent conversation we had over a coffee before Dr. Hassan took the stage at the Commonwealth Medical Association Conference in Colombo, Sri Lanka.
Dr. Hassan, what sort of medicine do you practice?
I am a bariatric surgeon. I perform surgery on over 500 obese patients of all ages each year. I help them get back on their feet and take control of their life and body after the surgery. I also hold the Guinness World Record for performing surgery on the world’s heaviest person (pictured in this blog). We brought him from 436kg, to less than 140kg, it’s simply an amazing transformation!
How has offering virtual consultations impacted your practice?
Most of my patients are severely overweight and live outside of Pakistan. It’s hard for many of them to walk, let alone travel far distances to visit my clinic. Offering teleconsultations speeds up the process of patient triage before they reach my clinic and helps us save time in coming up with each unique treatment plan.
Since I started offering virtual consultations, continuity of care for patients from my clinic has dramatically improved. From my office I can schedule post-operation consultations with any patients, no matter where they live. Virtual care lets me make sure that my patients are well informed and supported on their journey to recovery.
Do you think that doctors in Pakistan are ready for telemedicine?
I’ve been using the RingMD platform for many clients, and my colleagues that have not yet started offering consultations are very positive about the digitization of healthcare. 70% of people in my country are living in rural areas and many in these areas do not have access to adequate healthcare. Telemedicine instantly connects these people to better health — I really believe in it!
“To craft a stronger healthcare system and better patient experience, we must work together — policy makers, public and private sector.”
You travel the world to discuss developments in healthcare with medical and policy experts. What learning can you share with the broader community?
I travel to speak at conferences quite often and am becoming the President of Pakistan’s Medical Association. I’m very passionate about improving the lives of all people, and I think that offering virtual care is an important step in that direction. To craft a stronger healthcare system and better patient experience, we must work together — policy makers, public and private sector.
Thank you, Dr. Maaz Ul Hassan, for the chat and your time!