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Abu Dhabi Global Healthcare Week shines light on AI’s potential in transforming patient care and treatment

AI's potential to revolutionise healthcare shines at Abu Dhabi Global Healthcare Week
13 May 2024 22:57

SARA ALZAABI (ABU DHABI)

The role of artificial intelligence in healthcare and medicine dominated the scene on the first day of Abu Dhabi Global Healthcare Week (ADGHW) 2024 on Monday.

Held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Khaled bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Chairman of Abu Dhabi Executive Council, the event serves as a platform for discussing cutting-edge innovations and advancements in healthcare.

ADGHW is expected to attract 5,000 participants, including 1,000 delegates from participating countries, 100 exhibitors, and more than 250 expert speakers from around the world.

Among the many exhibitors at ADGHW is Ibrahim Al Jallaf, Division Director of Digital Health at the Department of Health-Abu Dhabi (DoH), who highlighted the department’s focus on leveraging AI to enhance patient care and healthcare access.

“At the Department of Health, our emphasis is on utilising AI to improve patient care. We are dedicated to both AI and general digitisation, with a clear focus on achieving positive outcomes.

Our primary objectives revolve around promoting a healthy population across Abu Dhabi and enhancing healthcare access and quality,” Al Jallaf told Aletihad.

He underscored the DoH’s initiatives aimed at improving healthcare delivery speed and ensuring physician availability in Abu Dhabi.

“One simple example of our active development of AI is its use in emergencies. We are trying to identify how to actually improve our response times to those in need of care as well as ensuring they receive the best care from the most qualified physician at the nearest facility,” Al Jallaf said.

He added that the DoH provides physicians with the Malaffi Health Portal, granting them access to a patient’s medical history from all facilities connected to Malaffi.

“Apart from the Malaffi Health Portal, we have plugged in a couple of different AI models. One example is a patient risk profile. It is 14 different individual AI models that analyse the individual’s risk of developing a certain disease based on their entire medical history,” he continued.

Al Jallaf further pointed out that the department seeks opportunities to connect with global partners to accelerate and improve patient care. “One of the perfect avenues for this is Abu Dhabi Global Health Week. It is a platform for basically the future of health. Besides, it is an always-on platform that is going to continue throughout the rest of the year and the years to follow.”

Also among the exhibited projects at ADGHW is StartAD, a joint project between New York University Abu Dhabi and the Department of Health.

The project aims to bring global startups to the forefront in three healthcare sectors: AI in healthcare delivery, genomics, and neurodegenerative diseases.

In conversation with Aletihad, Adnan Dekedek, Innovation Programs Lead at StartAD, detailed the HealthX incubator programme.

“We aim to attract global talent to establish their presence in Abu Dhabi through partnerships with various healthcare providers. Our goal is for startups to conduct pilot projects with hospitals like Burjeel, NMC, and Harley Street Medical Centre and eventually obtain licences to operate within Abu Dhabi. We offer office spaces in Hub 71 and have a dynamic programme in place.”

StartAD, in collaboration with government partners, is advancing the UAE’s knowledge economy through innovation programmes like accelerators and incubators, supporting over 500 startups thus far.

Emirati entrepreneurs have partnered with over 200 startups, creating 360 jobs and raising over $260 million in revenue and funding, with five successful exits and 83 pilots, Dekedek said. Another exhibitor at ADGHW is Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi.

Speaking to Aletihad, Dr. Stephen Grobmyer, Institute Chair of Medical Oncology and Hematology at the Oncology Institute, Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi, underlined the significance of Abu Dhabi Global Healthcare Week.

“I have been part of the scientific planning committee for this conference. It is an exciting international event with a unique focus not only on healthcare but, more importantly, on health itself,” Dr. Grobmyer said.

He also outlined the potential of technology and artificial intelligence in proactively preventing illness, particularly in the field of genetics.

“Many discussions and collaborations are emerging around leveraging advancements in technology and artificial intelligence to enhance health, not merely reacting to illness but actively preventing it. One area of particular focus is genetics, especially considering the progress made with initiatives like the Emirati Genome Programme,” Dr. Grobmyer added.

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