The United Arab Emirates

In October 2017, the UAE appointed His Excellency Omar Bin Sultan Al Olama as the first Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence, making the UAE the first country in the world to have a designated Minister for AI. In the healthcare sector, new technologies are being slowly introduced to test its effectiveness. For example, the Government of the UAE is currently testing and introducing the following new innovations into healthcare:
  • The Body of health analysis pods to be rolled out in government buildings to assist staff in mon- itoring health and detecting early any signs of illnesses.
  • An application by Babylon, which uses AI to pro- vide 24/7 video consultancy to patients from all around the world will be soon available in UAE.
  • Health Care and Innovative New Technology (HINT) neuro band helps detect strokes.
  • The flow cell sensors by Admetsys to alert doctors to sudden drops in the vitals of ICU patients.

The state has introduced much legislation around the use of AI in healthcare to safeguard patients, doctors, and technology providers. The healthcare industry in Dubai is set to grow exponentially, with demand for world-class medical service currently outpacing supply.

To meet the growing demand on the local and regional level, the Dubai Health Authority (DHA) outlined a strategy that uses AI and robotics to largely automate the process, in addition to iden- tifying key public-private partnerships and con- tributing with weighty healthcare investments. According to Alpen Capital, the UAE health- care market is expected to grow 12.7%, to nearly US$20BN (AED 71.56BN) by 2020.

But in order to meet the increasing demand for better healthcare, there are gaps in the market that the DHA has identified in order to move forward, namely: investment in R&D and training, govern- ment regulation, and service delivery.

Key initiatives


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The Dubai Health Authority is a government organization overseeing the health system of Dubai. It outlined a strategy that uses AI and robotics to largely automate the process, in addition to identifying key public-private partnerships and contributing with weighty healthcare investments.


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Embraces technology and innovation to make Dubai ‘the most modern city with the happiest citizens.’


Arab Health is an industry-defining platform where the healthcare industry meets to do business with new customers and develop relationships with their existing clients.


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Atlas medical thrives on innovation and technologies to meet the ever-growing needs of the
UAE healthcare sector.

Deals with an extensive range of high-value products and services that cater to customers in the UAE market.


SEHA is the corporate marketing name of Abu Dhabi Health Services Company, an independent public joint stock company that owns and operates all public hospitals and clinics across the emirate.

Seeks to upgrade and improve healthcare delivery to the public at a level comparable to the finest healthcare systems in the world. The program began by separating management and regulation – SEHA assumed responsibility for public healthcare centres and hospitals, while Health Authority-Abu Dhabi (HA-AD) was established to regulate the public and private sectors.

The SEHA HealthSystem consists of 12 hospitals with 2,644 beds, 46 Primary Healthcare Clinic, 10 Disease Prevention and Screening Centre, 3 Mobile Clinics, 1 School Clinic, 2 Blood banks,4 Dental Centres, 2 Employee Healthcare Centre, and 1 Vaccination Centre. It is the largest healthcare network in the UAE, providing a continuum of care to residents and utilizing leading-edge technologies.


Israel is becoming a testing ground for the power of artificial intelligence to improve health care. Digital medical records for the vast majority of Israelis are currently stored in databases maintained by the handful of semi-public health- maintenance organisations (HMOs) that provide most health care in Israel. These health records are beneficial to the growing number of digital health start-ups training algorithms to do things like early detection of diseases and produce more accurate medical diagnoses.

The country has over 530 digital health start-ups and this is attracting new investors and has driven financing in the sector to a record $511M in 2018, up 32% year on year. By the first quarter of 2019 the amount raised was already at $214M.

AI medical use cases include, but are not limited to, decision support tools for physicians, medical imaging analysis using computer vision, and big data analytics for population health management. Foreign hospitals and universities are increasingly coming to Israel to look for digital health technol- ogies and to invest in local companies. For exam- ple, in 2018, three major US hospitals engaged with Israeli digital health: Intermountain Healthcare’s investment in Zebra Medical, Mt. Sinai Ventures’ contract with digital speech therapy company Novotalk, and Thomas Jefferson University’s pilot validation program in conjunction with the Israeli Innovation Authority for clinical care and hospital operations solutions.


Their mission is to provide radiologists with the tools they need to make the next leap in patient care. Zebra’s Imaging Analytics Engine receives imaging scans from various modalities and automatically analyses them for a number of different clinical findings, in a timely manner and full synergy with radiology workflow.


Taliaz is an AI health analytics start-up that has developed Predictix, a game-changing algorithm to personalize medicine.  Predictix enables deep-data analysis of the highly complex role of each patients’ unique biological background and environment in driving behaviours. Develops leading personal medicine solutions for additional neuropsychiatric conditions, including schizophrenia, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), anxiety disorders and bipolar affective disorder.


ART Medical has developed smart feeding tubes laden with sensors that automatically collect patient data including reflux rates, food requirements, saliva and urine output to adjust the nutritional doses delivered through the tube.  The eight-year-old company has raised $29 million to develop its Anti-Reflux Tube (hence ‘ART’).  The company’s AI-based algorithms also automate the placement of feeding tubes in the stomach – a process currently done by X-ray imaging.  ART Medical has also collaborated with hospitals in Israel and the United States.


The company develops software that uses artificial intelligence to predict which patients in a hospital’s ICU are at the highest risk of imminent deterioration, and alerts staff so they can intervene early.  Clew can predict how long a patient will need to be connected to a ventilator or a dialysis machine, and when a patient will be ready for discharge.  The company is testing its software at Sheba and Ichilov hospitals in Israel, and the Mayo and Cleveland clinics in the United States. Clew has raised $30 million since it was founded in 2014.


Combining deep-learning algorithms and text analysis, Milagro can parse the 70% of medical information that’s locked in unstructured data sources such as hospital documents and summaries of surgical and radiological procedures. Medical staffers receive relevant alerts and the company’s software identifies patients at the highest risk for hospital-acquired infections.  Milagro’s software is in use at several Israeli medical centres including Sheba, Assuta, Rambam and
Tel Aviv Sourasky.


The company uses machine-learning algorithms and AI to prevent clinicians from issuing the wrong prescription. MedAware scours its database of millions of prescriptions and compares it to a patient’s medical record to flag “statistical outliers to normal behavior patterns.”  During testing with 400,000 patients, MedAware turned up 6,000 incorrect prescriptions, some of which it’s claimed, were life threatening.



Egypt may have only just had its first health tech hackathon but there are several start-ups that have been doing good work to help the country better its problematic healthcare system. While these have engaged in digitalising medicine, little has been done to transform the healthcare system through the use of artificial intelligence. The rural poor are most affected by issues which range from poor service at government-run hospitals and lack of effec- tive health insurance to the highest rates of Hepatiis C in the entire world.


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D-Kimia develops novel diagnostic solutions to detect a broad range of diseases by targeting the nucleic acid signature of the disease. Their diagnostic solutions are rapid, affordable, simple to use, and provide the same level of specificity as the most advanced Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR), and other amplification- based diagnostic techniques. D-Kimia’s patent pending platform has initially been optimized for the identification of the Hepatitis C virus. The company raised $500K from Egyptian and Arab investors and its hepatitis diagnosis tool is much cheaper than current alternatives and also gives results within an hour.



BMJ worked in an active partnership with the Iraq Ministry of Health over a five-year period to help achieve better healthcare in Iraq. BMJ Learning Iraq was customised to equip Iraqi doctors with high quality medical education resources that are proven to improve clinical care and outcomes. Over 43,000 online learning modules in 70 specialist subjects were completed by Iraqi doctors. Of those 3,817 users, 88% believed it has improved their practice and 96% believe it will improve the care they deliver in the future.

Key Initiatives


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Involved in the evolution from task-specific Artificial Narrow Intelligence (ANI) towards Artificial Super Intelligence (ASI). On the lower end of the continuum, AI tools embedded into medical technology are available today and ready to increase quality of care and patient safety.

With R&D ongoing, they will be supplemented by increasingly sophisticated predictive tools that help the country come closer to a future of healthcare in which precision medicine will be the new standard of care.