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Abu Dhabi’s infrastructure and dynamism give it an advantage in the global AI Healthcare race

Abu Dhabi’s infrastructure and dynamism gives it an advantage in the global AI Healthcare race
13 May 2024 19:52


Abu Dhabi’s willingness to accept new ideas, dynamic environment and high-quality infrastructure were among the factors that experts said put the capital in a good position to lead the global race to utilise AI in healthcare. 

Speaking to Aletihad on Monday on the side-lines of the Abu Dhabi Healthcare Week, Dr. Richard Marshall, a leading British doctor with more than 20 years in the Pharmaceutical R&D space heading up major departments at AstraZeneca, lauded the UAE’s capability to lead the space. 

“I'm not saying it just because I'm here. I think it's right at the top because I think that there's such an energy and there's such a sort of dynamism to make things change and happen quickly, that you just don't get everywhere else,” he said.

“Sure, I mean, you go to the US or Europe, there is definitely strong AI research and healthcare, but to get all three together - really strong healthcare and AI, as well as high-quality digital healthcare infrastructure, there aren’t many places better.” 

Speaking to the crowds at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre, Dr. Richard explained how the usage of AI would impact the personalisation of healthcare and result in better patient outcomes. He said the technology would be especially useful in targeting medicines to the right population groups, designing molecules and possibly in reducing the time clinical trials take in the future. 

“AI is very much here now. It's just not being adopted by all companies. So, for example, we use it to understand human biology and how we design molecules, how we design new drugs,” he told Aletihad. 

“AI is definitely having quite a big impact already or it has been for a few years but like everything else in AI, that impact is going to absolutely mushroom very quickly over the next 5 - 10 years; you're going to see a huge acceleration.” 

His comments were echoed by Dr. Dirk Richter, a long-time surgeon, and the current Director of Health Sector Innovation at the Abu Dhabi Department of Health. He said that the department was proactive in allowing the use of AI but was cautious to only accredit solutions that had been tested properly. 

“If we think there is enough evidence of solutions across the world that already used another place, and you have enough data to say, yes it's safe, then we do not only give them market access, like an FDA, but we also pay for it,” he told Aletihad. 

“It is about connecting dots, we have amazing healthcare facilities, secondly, we have something like Mohammed bin Zayed University, a leading AI university and we have our genome data through Malaffi, which is a patient record for the whole emirate, so all data available seems to be about connecting dots, which is good for AI utilisation.” 




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