This week is, undoubtedly, an exciting week for innovations and technology. As AIMed hosted two of its subspecialty events – AIMed Surgery and ICU (Intensive Care Unit) in Miami, Florida; GITEX (Gulf Information Technology Exhibition), the biggest tech show in the Middle East, North Africa, and South Asia is also taking place in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE). 

Back for its 39thedition and being, GITEX Technology Week is not only showcasing sci-fi movie types of inventions such as “Lazareth”, a motorbike which can transform itself into a helicopter in less than 60 seconds and coming at a pre-order price of near 500,000 Euro or Hyperloop One, an electromagnetically elevated pod which can travel through pressure tubes at a maximum speed of 1223 kilometres per hour. There were also much discussions around 5Gartificial intelligence (AI), ethics, next generation mobility and so on. 

Healthcare in GITEX 

In terms of medicine and healthcare, Dubai Health Authority (DHA) had showcased several solutions that are about to be implemented or are already in the system. One of which is Mesaed, which leverages on AI to assist in billing for 44 government entities, minimizing on the number of working days needed to process medical or healthcare related claims, as well as human errors and the need for lengthy reports. 

The other is Mindspire, a mobile application which will be live in two months and set out to help depressed individuals or those who wish to seek for a preliminary depression screening. The application was designed by two local computer science graduates and only requires the user’s age and gender to achieve maximum anonymity. Live chat, helpline, and complimentary counselling services provided by voluntary mental health specialists are all embedded within the application. 

UAE’s telecommunication company – Du, had partnered medical AI startup Infermedica (i.e., AIMed spoke with the co-founder of Infermedica, Piotr Orzechowski; you may wish to read the full interview on the latest issue of AIMed magazine), to roll out primary care symptom tracker chatbot to provide users with a comprehensive range of app-based health assessments before they are advised to meet a medical professional. This believed would reduce the number of unnecessary medical appointments being made. 

Estisalat, another UAE telecommunication company also debut several smart solutions focusing on health. One of them is WheeM-i (Wheelchairs Mobility Interface), a wheel-chair equivalent bicycle sharing system. Wheelchair users may hop onto one of the “wheel-on” or semi-autonomous electric vehicles parked at designated areas, to maneuver around the city at ease and without the worries of meeting physical hurdles. 

A stage for startups 

2019 is also the fourth year of GITEX Future Stars; GITEX Technology Week’s sister event to cater a voice for new tech-related initiatives. 16 startups were selected by Sedaor Small Enterprise Development Agency, a fraction of South Africa’s Department of Small Business Development (DSBD) unit which renders non-financial support to small enterprises and cooperatives. The agency is also backing new disruptive innovations, giving them a protected environment to grow over a period of three years in 56 Technology Incubation Centres across the country. 

Aviro Med Design was one of the 16 selected startups selected. Its flagship product – Ithaka, is a mobile application which provides customized and anonymized guidelines for users diagnosed with chronic medical conditions, so that they can confidently navigate the health system to seek appropriate treatment. On the other hand, Ithaka also assists healthcare providers to keep track of patients’ progress, test results, exercise protocols that aimed at improving patients’ experiences and so on. 

GITEX Technology Week 2019 continues today (10 October). 

Author Bio
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Hazel Tang

A science writer with data background and an interest in the current affair, culture, and arts; a no-med from an (almost) all-med family. Follow on Twitter.