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How the Middle East Uses Digital Health to Relieve Pressure on the Healthcare Sector

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How the Middle East Uses Digital Health to Relieve Pressure on the Healthcare Sector

The COVID-19 pandemic sheds light on the world’s healthcare system and its successes and failures in ways never before seen in our lives. Hospitals and medical centers are reaching their limits, with millions of people suffering around the world. This will allow healthcare organizations to reassess the process, adopt new methods to control staffing on a large scale, track infections quickly, treat patients remotely during quarantine, and digital healthcare. The trend towards is accelerating.

According to Global Market Insights, digital health is a fast-growing industry with a value of $ 504.4 billion by the end of 2025. Comprehensive terms include mobile health, eHealth, telemedicine, and advanced computing science such as genomics, artificial intelligence (AI), and big data.

Digital health was at the heart of the general COVID-19 response, but it has a much wider range of uses beyond the pandemic. Digital health and medical technology are the keys to mitigating and strengthening the capabilities of healthcare professionals in the limited world. In particular, global macro trends are increasing, such as the aging of the population and the increase in non-communicable diseases (NCD) such as diabetes and cancer.

Increase in non-communicable diseases in the region

In the Middle East, NCDs pose a particularly serious threat to the growing unhealthy and sedentary lifestyle. According to the International Diabetes Federation, the Gulf region was ranked high in diabetes prevalence worldwide in 2019. In the face of this epidemic, it is imperative to track disease trends and monitor treatment schedules and recovery progress in chronic patients.

As the region is trying to stop the growth of NCDs, we are looking at high-tech solutions such as AI, wearables, blockchain and the Internet of Things. In countries with high incidences of NCDs, the power of these technologies can be leveraged to achieve significant benefits by diagnosing disease early and monitoring patients remotely.

According to management consulting firm Frost & Sullivan, the regional wearable market is expected to grow significantly over the next few years and is working with AI to track NCDs and other vital signs. For example, biosensors can be incorporated into wearable devices to build a database of information that can be analyzed in multiple ways while continuously monitoring patient progress for better health insights and better patient management in a larger population. Can be realized.

Leveraging digital healthcare innovation in the UK

This month, Arab Health, the region’s leading global health event, will showcase some of the world’s top digital health solutions, including solutions from UK companies. The UK is a world leader in digital health innovation, and many UK healthcare technology companies are putting an end to the United Kingdom National Health Service (NHS), the world’s largest single-payer universal health insurance system. These companies have pioneered healthcare solutions across a variety of areas, including electronic records management, self-care and remote monitoring.

Since the last 18 months, UK digital healthcare companies have established themselves in the region. One good example is Intouch with Health, an innovative UK patient flow management company that contracts with Qatar’s leading hospital network to integrate and monitor booking schedules in one data-rich dashboard.

Meanwhile, the UK-based Patients Know Best (PKB) provides access to complete personal health records for patients and professionals, operating in Bahrain, Oman and the United Arab Emirates. PKB already provides personal health records for the UK NHS app, enabling millions of patients around the world to collect all medical data and manage care in one record.

British pioneers such as Helicon Health, with roots at the University College London, are working with officials from Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates to bring remote monitoring technology for early detection and prevention of stroke to the Gulf. Helicons use machine learning applied to electronic health records (EHRs) to help identify patients suffering from acute illness but not receiving the correct treatment.

Similarly, Scotland’s Tactuum is in talks with many government and private healthcare providers in Saudi Arabia and Qatar to provide access to key guidelines, routes and protocols quickly from any device at any time. Improving team decision making. Its Quris platform is integrated into the EHR system and can be accessed from the web, mobile and online.

Meanwhile, the UK medical device business, CMR Surgical, is transforming surgery for millions of people around the world, including the Middle East. CMR has developed Versius. This is a next-generation surgical robot with improved accuracy, precision and dexterity to perform more complex operations through keyhole surgery. The CMR is already active in South Asia and is currently in talks with healthcare companies across the Gulf, from the United Arab Emirates to Kuwait.

Britain’s superior pedigree in medicine and innovation is in line with the Gulf region’s own ambitions for a future digital economy. Technologies such as AI are rapidly emerging as key enablers in multiple sectors of the local economy, including healthcare. Backed by this foresight and a strong desire for technology and partnership, the Gulf countries are moving towards becoming the world’s top hub for healthcare innovation in the coming years.

• Simon Penney is a trade commissioner in the UK’s Middle East, Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Disclaimer: The views expressed by the writers in this section are their own and do not necessarily reflect the views of Arab News.

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