Dubai Health Authority unveils plans to establish Innovation Centre to create an environment for collaboration with the private sector in the field of healthcare innovation
Article provided by Dubai Health Authority
In line with the UAE vision and Dubai Health Strategy 2016-2021 that seeks to make the population of the emirate healthier and happier by providing world-class healthcare services and fostering creativity and innovation, the Dubai Health Authority has unveiled plans to establish an Innovation Centre in collaboration with the private sector to support healthcare innovation.
The new Innovation Centre will be set up behind Rashid Hospital in Dubai. The initiative intends to promote public-private collaboration in the field of healthcare innovation and also provide a permanent base for entities keen on supporting medical innovation in Dubai.
Innovation: The future of better health
Highlighting the importance of creating an environment that is conducive to innovation, His Excellency Humaid Al Qutami, Chairman of the Board and Director-General of the Dubai Health Authority, says: “Over the years, we have seen advances in medicine which have directly contributed to better patient outcomes. Health is a sector that directly affects us all and innovation in healthcare can save lives, improve patient outcomes, promote health and well-being. So, undoubtedly, innovation is the future of better health. Our aim is to promote an atmosphere that is conducive to innovation, not just for medical treatment but also in technology, healthcare management, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, etc so that all aspects of the health sector develop and thrive. Innovation cannot take place in isolation and thrives on collaboration; we are keen to work with innovators, healthcare entities, scientists and researchers so that we can improve healthcare outcomes and focus on improved patient care and experience.”
DHA is currently working with the private sector to establish the most suitable model to foster the Innovation Centre concept and to ensure round-the-year activation and participation. In the initial meeting held with the DHA team and members of the private sector in April, participants were provided a tour of the construction site of the Innovation Centre. Members from both the public and private healthcare sectors offered their inputs and a brainstorming session was held to discuss the way forward.
‘Important pillar of Dubai Health Strategy’
According to Dr Mohammad Al Redha, Director of the Department of Organisational Transformation at DHA, “In line with the vision of our leaders and in line with the DHA Health Strategy 2016-2021, innovation in healthcare is an important pillar of our strategy. For us, innovation means the ability to harness new technologies, to implement newer methods of healthcare delivery and management in order to provide patients with improved healthcare and make their lives better. At the end of the day, patient-centred care is our priority and improving their lives and providing them with happiness is our primary focus. Thus, for us, innovation is the vehicle that will revolutionise healthcare and directly lead to patient well-being and happiness.”
He highlighted that as part of the DHA strategy the innovation programme is designed to promote innovation and efficiency and ensure that Dubai residents and visitors have access to high quality services across the continuum of care. The innovation programme aims to introduce innovative care models to fill existing care delivery gaps and enable integrated, cost-effective, patient and innovation-oriented care delivery.
3D Printing and Artificial Intelligence
DHA has been working on the implementation of latest technologies such as 3D printing in healthcare and artificial intelligence.
Dr Bassam Mahboub, Consultant Pulmonologist and the head of pulmonary medicine unit and the program director for care model innovation in DHA, has stated that over the course of the past year, DHA successfully deployed 3D technology across its dental services department and carried out complicated surgeries using this technology. “The DHA also worked with the private sector on 3D-printed artificial legs that was used to provide amputees with a new lease of life,” he added. “One of the amputees described how her 3D-printed foot was much closer to the feeling of having an actual foot compared to the previous one she was wearing. One additional benefit of 3D printing is the cost-effectiveness of the technology, which makes it affordable across a wide spectrum of patients who need it.”
Presently DHA is working with the private sector on the implementation of AI in medical fitness screening and in other areas of healthcare such as stroke detection, management and diagnosis as well as rehabilitation.
First radiology AI Algorithm
Earlier this year at the 2018 Arab Health Exhibition & Congress in Dubai, UAE, the DHA announced that it would use Artificial Intelligence (AI) to sort out all chest X-ray scans required for mandatory medical fitness for residency purposes. This is expected to streamline the system, cut down processing time and provide a more efficient and consolidated system for issuing results. At the event, the DHA signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Agfa HealthCare for validation of the first radiology AI algorithm in the UAE. The MoU was the culmination of the joint efforts of the DHA and Agfa HealthCare for over a period of two years during which the use of AI was reviewed across the radiology departments of DHA’s medical fitness centres.
“The DHA is keen to foster the use of technology in the health sector to improve efficiencies, enhance healthcare management and overall workflows and most importantly, to further improve patient-centric care,” stated His Excellency Humaid Al Qutami. “Utilisation of AI in the health sector is also in line with the UAE Strategy for Artificial Intelligence. The DHA decided to use AI for X-ray imaging across medical fitness centres because of the scale of the service and the fact that it will greatly enhance work efficiencies and will lead to optimum utilisation of manpower. The move will have a significant positive impact on the overall medical fitness system.”
Announcing the preliminary results of the Chest X-ray AI Algorithm deployed across DHA medical fitness centres, the DHA revealed that upon completion of Phase One of onsite validation in early January 2018, and on analysis of preliminary data, the algorithm was able to correctly identify diseases in Chest X-rays approximately 90% of the time. Phase Two results in March 2018 showed further improved sensitivity to 95 per cent.
The Algorithm processed approximately 4,900 Chest X-rays, and two DHA MFC radiologists reviewed the findings detected by the AI Algorithm.
"The results are very promising,” said Dr Mohammed Al Redha. “We will work together to establish an enterprise imaging strategy for the DHA to enable multi-speciality medical imaging consolidation. DHA will establish a framework of Artificial Intelligence workflow to augment radiology imaging, including in the area of detecting diseases and we will collaborate to validate machine-learning algorithms in development.”
According to Chiho Rim, Co-Founder and Chief Strategist at DrFive - one of the ten firms that took part in the initial meeting with DHA at the Innovation Centre, “Our technology uses AI to detect the exact type of stroke the patient is suffering from and we are able to detect this as AI can read the MRI and CT scan and immediately present the doctor with the needed information. We have conducted trials in hospitals in South Korea.”
Other firms present at the meeting included Etisalat Digital, Novartis, HCI group, IBM, Credit Swiss, Fasaisal, MSD and Cognitive Healthcare International (CHI).