Saudi healthcare leaders embracing technology, sustainability and partnerships

Largest global survey of its kind shows healthcare leaders continue to recognize the power of AI to benefit patient care

by

Somshankar Bandyopadhyay

  • Follow us on
  • google-news
  • whatsapp
  • telegram

Top Stories

Published: Sun 24 Dec 2023, 8:40 PM

Saudi Arabian healthcare leaders are turning to technology, aiming to increase productivity and satisfaction among healthcare practitioners, as well as external partnerships, a new report shows.

Alongside enhancing care delivery and increasing efficiencies, such investments play a crucial role in attracting and retaining talent.

Royal Philips, a global leader in health technology, announced the results of its Future Health Index (FHI) 2023 Saudi Arabia report: Taking Healthcare Everywhere. Now in its eighth year, the Future Health Index is based on proprietary research across 14 countries, including Saudi Arabia, making it the largest global survey of its kind to analyse the current and future priorities of healthcare leaders worldwide. The FHI 2023 report is based on proprietary research among nearly 3,000 healthcare leaders and younger healthcare professionals conducted in 14 countries.

Digital health technologies are emerging as the lynchpin to tackle staff shortages. With 63% of Saudi Arabian healthcare leaders using or planning to use digital health technologies, the future appears promising. Younger healthcare professionals also see the potential benefits, recognizing the potential of data portability, advanced diagnostics, and state-of-the-art AI solutions to improve their work satisfaction. Along with the adoption of advanced technology solutions, 46% of Saudi Arabian’s healthcare leaders are forging partnerships with health technology companies, and an equal percentage are engaging with NGOs and charity organizations, to help reduce the impact of workforce shortages.

In Saudi Arabia, the patient-centric paradigm is gaining momentum. Saudi Arabian healthcare leaders are championing this shift with a notable (30%) investment in new, more innovative technology. Further evidence of this trend comes from the consensus among healthcare leaders (57%) and younger healthcare professionals (56%), who believe in the transformative potential of new care delivery models, in that they’re likely to bring more affordable care or better value for money. These positive sentiments are further highlighted by 53% of all respondents combined responding that improved patient safety was a likely outcome of new care delivery models. A staggering (77%) of leaders are currently harnessing the power of AI, an increase from 46% in 2022, and 73% are offering a form of virtual care. Digital technologies, including AI, are also a key focus of the Kingdom’s Health Sector Transformation Program, setting a precedent for ongoing innovation. With an eye toward sustained progress, an impressive (96%) of healthcare leaders are poised to expand their investments in AI, up from 66% in 2022, ensuring that Saudi Arabia remains at the forefront of healthcare technology.

The FHI 2023 Saudi Arabia report provides a clear indication of strong momentum in innovation and digital transformation within the Kingdom’s healthcare system. Saudi Arabian Healthcare leaders and younger healthcare professionals are aligned in their vision to innovate new models of care delivery that meet patients where they are. Building on the advancements in the post-pandemic era, healthcare leaders are now prioritizing the implementation of virtual care and AI solutions to address staff shortages and furthering sustainability. These developments, along with a strong inclination towards strategic partnerships, mark critical steps in the Kingdom’s journey towards Vision 2030, emphasizing a commitment to improving patient care through innovative and technologically advanced healthcare models.

Mohammad Mostafa, General Manager, Health Systems, Philips Middle East, Türkiye and Africa
Mohammad Mostafa, General Manager, Health Systems, Philips Middle East, Türkiye and Africa

Mohammad Mostafa, General Manager, Health Systems, Philips Middle East, Türkiye and Africa, said: “The Future Health Index 2023 underscores Saudi Arabia’s transformative vision for healthcare. The nation is investing heavily in AI, recognizing the unmatched potential of virtual care while also taking steps to make healthcare more sustainable, understanding the indispensable role of partnerships in achieving this and ultimately improving and revolutionizing patient care.”

Sector collaboration continues to be a cornerstone of Saudi Arabia’s strategic plan for healthcare advancement. A notable (38%) of healthcare leaders are gearing up to forge partnerships with healthcare technology companies in the imminent future. Meanwhile, younger healthcare professionals would like their hospital/healthcare facility to build partnerships outside the conventional bounds of the healthcare sector in order to improve patient outcome.

Saudi Arabian healthcare leaders and younger healthcare professionals also signal an opportunity for wider ecosystem collaboration to overcome barriers to protecting the health of our planet. As environmental sustainability becomes a primary focus in healthcare, these leaders are employing specific strategies to navigate these challenges effectively. These include setting clear and ambitious sustainability targets while measuring progress (36%), recruiting more staff with specialized skills to advance these initiatives (36%), consulting or working with third parties to deliver or support sustainability programs (33%), and sharing best practice examples and learning from peers (32%).

Mohammad Mostafa, General Manager, Health Systems, Philips Middle East, Türkiye and Africa said: “As we delve into the Saudi Arabia-specific insights of the FHI 2023, it is clear that the Kingdom is not merely adapting to change but actively shaping the future of healthcare. The integration of AI, the emphasis on sustainability, and the collaborative spirit underscore the Kingdom’s progressive stance.”


More news from Business