In 2013 Dh1.7 million was spent on each Emirati patient sent abroad for treatment, according to Dubai Health Authority. Overall, the UAE spends approximately $1,200 per person each year in healthcare, ranking it among the top 20 countries in the world for healthcare spending per capita.
With the overall growth rate for the GCC healthcare market hitting 12% annually to $69.4 billion by 2018, the large-scale impact of health technologies will have far-reaching benefits for citizens and healthcare systems.
Making its debut in Dubai, the three-day Digital Health Live exhibition attracted a global audience of high ranking officials in the field of medical and healthcare to include His Excellency Engineer Essa Al Haj Al Maidoor, Director-General of the Dubai Health Authority (DHA) and the event’s organizer Nuviun’s CEO, Dr. Tamer Shahin; Chief Innovations Officer Omran Al Hashemi; and Erfan Al Hashemi, Chief Strategies Officer.
The event provided an insightful platform and catalyst to spur digital health and wellness in the UAE, integrating the most advanced technology in today’s settings. From intelligent fridges, smart mirrors, sleep monitors and wellness wearables to a digital smart city and digital hospital, the first futuristic exhibition and conference marked the dawn of a new era in Digital Health.
A digital home, using smart-sensor technologies in various formats revealed a smart mirror that can assess your health by scanning and displaying vital information such as BMI, blood pressure and an analysis of mood. An intelligent fridge, depending on the ingredients present, recommends recipes, including calorie information, advise you on what to eat according to your specific dietary requirements, as well as speaking to a nutritionist directly from an installed screen.
Viewing the broader implications of digital healthcare on the nation’s healthcare infrastructure and society benefits, the event also showcased technologies in Digital Hospitals and Digital Cities.
Visiting the doctor’s surgery will become a thing of the past with the introduction of telemedicine allowing for remote consultations while the Smart Hospital will have advanced technology for ultimate efficiencies.
On a wider scale, the Digital Smart City revealed everyday objects designed to capture vital health data and interact to meet personal needs, such as a vending machine! A Digital Health Boulevard created a street view while access was on display for remote view if on a Desert Camp.
Digital Health represents the state of the art technologies converging to deliver a new vision for smart medicine, healthcare and wellness including telemedicine mhealth, ehealth, genomics, sensors, wearables and electronic medical records, embracing all healthcare-related applications, technologies and delivery systems.
Speaking at the event, that aims to be a platform to spur a digital health revelation in the UAE, Engineer Essa Al Maidoor, Director-General of the DHA, said: “Digital Health Live marks a major milestone for the UAE, positioning us at the forefront of healthcare innovation in the region. The joint collaboration allows us to not only experience new technologies, but also to talk with healthcare and IT leaders on the real issues affecting our society and healthcare systems.”
Commenting, Tamer Shahin, CEO of Nuviun, a Dubai based company, added, “The benefit of digital healthcare and medical tourism is two-fold. Advancement in technology in our home country helps in the growth of medical tourism and is beneficial for both residents and visitors as they have access to a high level of healthcare services. Digital health technologies are the way forward helping in the advancement of the health sector and better patient outcomes and stimulating the UAE’s inbound and outbound medical tourism sector. Advancements in digital health technologies are linked with maturity in both the UAE’s inbound and outbound medical tourism sector.”
EXCLUSIVE to The Middle East Online . . . By Jane Wilson, managing director of The Healthcare holiday