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UAE in the pink of e-health Filed on August 28, 2020 | Last updated on August 28, 2020 at 06.16 am
The global digital health market will continue to grow at an annual rate of 29.6 per cent until 2025 to reach a market value of $504.4 billion.

Healthcare has become more consumer-centric and less provider-centric.

The UAE's digital health market is poised to gain more momentum as it is witnessing massive acceleration during the Covid-19 outbreak, paving the way for a drastic change in consumer behaviour.

The healthcare industry today in the UAE is busy with the digitisation process - digitising every data is a task by itself- which is crucial for understanding market dynamics. Leading industry experts share the consensus that a lot of industry trends were triggered from consumers remotely accessing services from homes ever since the outbreak of Covid.

Society has evolved from the era of standalone devices, drugs and surgery. Bio-absorbent stents, connected pumps, capsule endoscope and digital stethoscopes, among several others, are innovations of the last decade. It is no longer just quality of care, but efficiency of "care and costs" that is key to disruption, says a recent report released by Global Ventures titled Digital Health in the Middle East and Africa: An Overview.

Dr Azad Moopen, founder chairman and managing director of Aster DM Healthcare, said: "The future of digital health in the UAE will see incubator-driven smart solutions, AI-enhanced patient service excellence, 5G networks driving easy access, enhanced focus on wearable technology for remote monitoring, data analytics to manage patient health profiles based on genetics and family history. This will be supported by advanced technology like 3D printing, robotics, portable critical care machines."

"We are aiming to drive digital transformation and innovation across our organisation and for the next few years our focus would be on adoption and delivery of smart solutions and enhanced experience to our customers and patients."

UAE in the pink of e-health (KT25603827.JPG)

The shift into new digital health models is a global phenomenon that is predicted to witness exponential growth well into the future. Research of the field indicates that the global digital health market will continue to grow at an annual rate of 29.6 per cent until 2025 to reach a market value of $504.4 billion.

This number comes as a result of a paradigm shift in the outlook of the entire sector. Now, healthcare has become more consumer-centric and less provider-centric.

RAK Hospital, for instance, is working on deploying robots for disinfecting the facility, which will ensure complete exhaustive sterilisation much more efficiently and in less time without any human intervention.

Dr Raza Siddiqui, executive director of RAK Hospital, said: "Technology and innovation is the focus at the moment and would remain so going forward as well. Taking it further, we have already ramped up our efforts in providing tele-consultations and constantly working on upgrading systems to offer connected health."

Similarly, telemedicine is among the top priorities of Zulekha Healthcare Group, which saw its emergence just before the pandemic. "We will continue to focus and develop...this further, extending telemedicine to our patrons and partners in remote locations who can virtually get their healthcare needs met and also take a free second opinion without the travel hassle," said Taher Shams, managing director of Zulekha Healthcare Group.

"Remote healthcare delivery will not only help patients, but also contribute to the medical tourism sector and collaborative medical advances."

UAE Vision 2021 has initiated rapid digitisation and technology revolution in healthcare which should help in early diagnosis and reduce the burden in the industry. S. Gopinath, chief strategic officer at Canadian Specialist Hospital Dubai, said: "The UAE's vision to recalibrate the existing model through bringing in innovation and future digital technologies as part of Vision 2021 will unlock the potential across various sectors and revolutionise the healthcare industry bringing in efficiency, early diagnosis and cure."

Prime Healthcare Group claims to be among the early adopters to launch telehealth this year in March, just before movement restrictions were enforced. "The telehealth service benefitted especially the chronic patients who could consult their doctors and get their medications delivered home. We are going to see an exponential increase in the adoption of technologies like AI, wearables, bots, etc, in healthcare," said Jaleel Rahiman, director IT at Prime Healthcare Group. -


Sandhya D'Mello

Journalist. Period. My interests are Economics, Finance and Information Technology. Prior to joining Khaleej Times, I have worked with some leading publications in India, including the Economic Times.

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