Dubai – MENA Herald: The GCC healthcare market is rapidly expanding, with connected hospitals and healthcare providers re-imagining the industry with wearables, machine monitoring, and patient record digitisation. Both startups and established technology firms are transforming healthcare technology, showcasing the latest developments at GITEX Technology Week 2016.
The GCC is investing at least USD 2 billion in new patient-management technologies, and constructing of 37 mega-hospitals worth USD 28 billion, according to financial analysts Ardent Advisory . Overall, the GCC healthcare market is set to grow by 78 per cent from USD 40 billion in 2015 to USD 71 billion in 2020, according to Alpen Capital.
At GITEX’s Healthcare Monday industry vertical programme and conference, healthcare innovators such as Dr Rafael Grossmann, the first surgeon to live-stream surgery on Google Glass, and Australia’s first Chief Medical Information Officer Dr Monica Trujillo will support the GCC and wider market and share global best practices.
Speakers will detail how cutting-edge healthcare technology can enhance the patient experience, deliver personalised care, and contribute better value for money.
In particular, the world is set to see a new wave in healthcare wearables, with shipments growing from 2.5 million units in 2016 to 97.6 million by 2021, and USD 18 billion in revenue, according to market intelligence firm Tractica.
“In combating lifestyle diseases, the way that medical professionals use technology to manage and collect information can be as important as advances in medical science,” said Dr Monica Trujillo, Chief Medical Information Officer at Australia’s UnitingCare Health.
Dr Trujillo was responsible for the clinician engagement strategy at St Stephen’s Hospital in Queensland, Australia’s first fully integrated digital hospital.
The system includes patient wristbands with vital information for nursing staff, and doctors view digital patient records from anywhere at any time – including their homes, and all equipment is monitored electronically. The technology saves time on administration, reduces the scope for human error, and means staff can focus on patient care.
Additional GITEX Healthcare Monday speakers are set to include Jessica Federer, Chief Digital Officer of global pharmaceutical company Bayer; Alan Boehme, Chief Technology Officer of The Coca-Cola Company; and Dr Timothy Low, Chief Executive Officer of Singapore’s innovative Farrer Park Hospital.
Startups Drive Healthcare Innovation and Wearables
Startups are beginning to play a significant role in reimagining healthcare. The GITEX Startup Movement will connect more than 400 entrepreneurs from over 40 countries with over 250 global investors. These startups are set to showcase innovative healthcare solutions that help to connect and personalise healthcare in a rapidly growing market.
“In the near future, people will be able to use wearables to measure and understand personal risk, and monitor real-time results of making healthy choices. With the GCC’s high rate of technology adoption, the region could become global leaders in using wearable technology to transform personal healthcare,” said Shahid Azim, who co-founded United States-based healthcare startup Quanttus.
At GITEX Technology Week, Shahid Azim will speak during the event’s Healthcare Monday conference on the development of Quanttus’ recently-launched Q Heart, a consumer medical wearables and analytics mobile app and analytics platform. Users can log their blood pressure and heart rate, and label the data against activity and how well they fell.
Shahid Azim will also share details about his new venture in the precision medicine area of molecular diagnostics, and also insights of his previous involvement in developing the world’s first intra-aural 3D scanning system to combat hearing loss.
Aiming to simplify healthcare on a wide scale, Kuwaiti startup Afya Arabia uses digital technology to unite stakeholders across patients, healthcare providers, and payments.
Taking digital patient records to the next level, the GreenHealth mobile app by Canadian startup Easy Integrated Information and Technology Services provides real-time data on patient health, lab results, prescription, billing, and scheduling.
Helping patients to manage medication prescriptions, Indian startup HeyCare’s mobile app provides notifications on when to take medicine and vaccines, and enables online delivery. Similarly, Canadian startup ibebot’s connected devices and mobile apps track air quality, advise on healthcare tips, and allow users to share activities on social media.
With UAE health centres encouraging blood donations, the UAE-based Mobility Eye’s iCare mobile app matched requests from blood banks and health centres to nearby donors, and allows donors to use social media to support friends and family to donate blood.
Supporting the next wave of healthcare startups, the GITEX Startup Movement will host global accelerators and incubators such as the Japan External Trade Organisation, Jordan’s early stage and seed investor Oasis500, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s BADIR Programme for Science and Technology and InspireU by communications company STC, Russia’s Skolkovo Foundation, and the UAE’s Dubai Technology and Entrepreneurship Centre.
Tech Leaders Invest in Global Healthcare Solutions
Established technology enterprises are also turning their technology to healthcare. Exhibitors at GITEX – such as HP, Microsoft, and SAP – are lining up resources to enhance patient care and healthcare provider operations.
SAP, a top exhibitor at this year’s GITEX, is partnering with Stanford University to determine genetic traits for disease, as well as and German and Nigerian organisations to use mobile apps to track, prevent, and treat Ebola outbreaks in real-time. Microsoft’s CityNext partner-lead initiative looks to use new and existing Microsoft technologies to improve patient care.
“Bringing together the world’s leading healthcare companies, innovators, and experts at GITEX Technology Week will place the Middle East at the centre of the global connected revolution. Attendees can learn about and experience the latest in healthcare innovations, from mobile apps and wearables, to connected hospitals,” said Trixie LohMirmand, Senior Vice-President, Exhibitions and Events Management, Dubai World Trade Centre.