Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia is seeking to be a global leader in the application of technology related to artificial intelligence. This spans foreign investments by the Public Investment Fund (PIF) and domestic initiatives by the government and private sector.

AI is expected to contribute over US$135.2 billion in 2030 to the economy, equivalent to 12.4% of GDP. Saudi Arabia has embarked on a journey in an effort to achieve its Vision 2030. The National Transformation Program 2020 outlines objectives to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the healthcare sector through digital transformation and the use of emerging technologies such as AI. It has the goal of using IT to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of healthcare.

In the private sector, MedLab Media Group (MMG), a Spanish technology start-up focused on supporting and enhancing daily clinical practice and

decision making, announced it has signed a MoU with Advanced AI LLC, a Saudi company specialized in artificial intelligence technology and products.

MMG and Advanced AI LLC’s mis- sion is to boost AI development in line with the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 and collaborate with the expert Saudi team for consultancy, training, development and the creation and establishment of a joint laboratory for AI to support researchers and universities to create products based on Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) and Natural Language Processing (NLU). Both parties are planning to collaborate on several projects including Blockchain technology and Big Data.

British health technology start-up Babylon has raised $550 million in an investment round backed by Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund. There are very few Saudi Arabian companies dealing with AI in healthcare as it is heavily state-driven.



Artificial intelligence is proving a revolution in healthcare in Kuwait. The implementation of the technology in healthcare assists in early disease detection, early diagnosis, and effective diseases management and treatment. Cloud-based artificial intelligence is helping doctors in Kuwait quickly gain a clearer and more accurate understanding of a cardiac patient’s heart condition with the first sys- tem of its kind to be deployed in the Middle East.

In a pioneering step made in line with Kuwait’s development plan and Vision 2035 ‘New Kuwait’, Health Assurance Hospitals Company (DHAMAN) signed a Strategic Partnership Agreement with mul- tinational technology company IBM, for the devel- opment of the Digital Health System and the launch of the Kuwait Digital Health Roadmap Initiative.

Key initiatives


Installed AI solution that provides real-time quantifiable data of
the whole chest in less than 10 minutes, a fraction of the time of a conventional scan. It also delivers a resolution previously unattainable.

This is not the first pioneering advance for the Images Diagnostic Centre, which was the first facility in Kuwait to offer state-of-the-art diagnostic services using the GE Optima 450, a 32-channel, wide-bore MRI platform enabled with noise reduction technology


Health Assurance Hospitals Company (DHAMAN) was established by a Ministerial Decree, as part of the development plan set forth for the State of Kuwait. It is structured as a public-private- partnership (PPP) entity, with a pledged capital of KD 230 Million held by Kuwait Investment Authority and Public Institution for Social Security at 24%, Arabi Holding Group at 26% and 50% of shares to be allocated to Kuwait’s nationals. DHAMAN’s main objective is to be the first private healthcare company in Kuwait and the GCC to adopt world class healthcare standards.



Turkey’s healthcare sector has seen major improvements with an artificial intelligence based, healthy nutrition advice application to be added to the e-Pulse Personal Health System, according to the Health Ministry.

In addition to reminders and notifications concerning oral and dental health, an AI-based nutrition app will be added to e-Pulse’s newest attachments. Turkey provides free health care and has a general health insurance system that covers all citizens. 85% of people surveyed in Turkey would be willing to use an ‘intelligent health care assistant’ to diagnose patient conditions, suggesting the market outlook is positive from a con- sumer demand perspective.

Turkey has made significant progress in digitalis- ing its hospitals, as more than 160 organizations are recognized at Stage 6 of the Electronic Medical Record Adoption Model (EMRAM). This success is due to three factors: (1) outstanding leadership at all levels (particularly from the Ministry of Health, (2) high levels of clinical engagement and (3) wisdom to spend money on the right thing. Turkey is the only country using the EMRAM model to assess public hospitals.

Key Initiatives


Istanbul start-up Virasoft has raised $415,000 to develop computer vision technology for cancer diagnostics. Algorithms look at digital tissue slides and provide a preliminary diagnosis and analysis that is much quicker than manual work by human doctors while minimizing subjective errors. Virasoft provides many analytical modules that can detect tumour areas, cell break apart and fusion signals, and look at cell nuclei and membranes of specific tissues. Virasoft’s partners include the Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research at MIT and the Istanbul Technical University.


Doctus AI delivers AI-powered decision support systems and AI transformation programs for the future-proof alteration of medical institutions and production lines.

It utilizes the power of multi-modal deep learning and big data to provide state-of-the-art medical assistance systems for medical personnel.


Oman is likely to witness significant healthcare industry growth. According to Anil Nair, CEO of IRIS Health Services, simple, web-based technological safeguards can be easily implemented by regulators, insurance companies, individuals and medical providers to combat fraud, waste and abuse (FWA) in the healthcare system.

Most of the advances regarding AI in medicine in Oman have been from the research perspective. In particular, the CIRC unit of the Sultan Qaboos University has conducted research on the use of AI in medicine and telemedicine. AI has also been used for breast cancer screening. The Ministry of Health and the Information Technology Authority announced the launch of a new system of early diagnosis of breast cancer in 5 hospitals around the Sultanate. The pilot will run in the Royal, Khoula, Al Buraimi, Ibra, and Sultan Qaboos Hospital in Salalah in order to study the challenges that might accompany the system and how to overcome them.

Key Initiatives


An award-winning health insurance third-party administrator (TPA) providing medical benefit and claims administration services.

IRIS also manages specialized insurance needs for reinsurers, regulators and self-insured companies: for example, they build and maintain provider networks, provide membership and customer care services in addition to claims processing. For their risk carriers, they work hard to extend best practices in adjudication by integrating the latest technologies like AI and blockchain with experience and expertise.


ISTAIM 2020 dates: 16-18 February 2020

A conference on telemedicine and AI in medicine and the transfer of these new technologies to Oman. Aims to promote discussions for medical staff, engineers, students, professionals and the community in Oman.


The Centre supports the development of scientific research and contributes to the sultanate by promoting the process of transferring sustainable technology to the country. In addition, implements research strategies which meet the information and communication technology requirements of Oman in both the short and long terms, focusing on modern digital technologies associated with the fourth industrial revolution. Recent research projects include AI in medicine and Telemedicine in Oman. Ibra Hospital, Royal Hospital, Khoula Hospital, Al Buraimi Hospital. These were also part of the trial of using AI to diagnose breast cancer.