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Future-proofing laboratories with smart solutions

Article-Future-proofing laboratories with smart solutions

NanoStockk via CanvaPro Medlab Middle East rocket fuel.png
The power of data should be harnessed as 'rocket fuel' for sustainability in healthcare, shares SSMC's Dr. Naser Ammash at Medlab Middle East 2023.

Are we ready for sustainability in healthcare? Dr. Naser Ammash, Chief Executive Officer of Abu Dhabi-based Sheikh Shakhbout Medical City (SSMC) says ‘yes’ but there are three primary factors both decision-makers, as well as healthcare professionals, need to consider implementing them in practice.

First is the conscious effort to deliver trusted care and improve public health without exhausting natural resources or adding to the current ecology concerns. Secondly, it is being conscious about how elements within the healthcare environment are consumed — which involves paying attention to factors such as energy, travel, waste, procurement, water, as well as infrastructure and building design. And finally, to ensure the efficient and responsible use of resources, including finance and human aspects.

“Around 80 per cent of our carbon emissions come from what we buy — whether it is food or travel — and out of this, around 65 per cent is related to the hospital and clinic setting, which includes services and pharmaceuticals. This is where we need to set our focus,” said Dr. Ammash.

Dr Naser Ammash speaking at Medlab Middle East

Dr. Naser Ammash, Chief Executive Officer of Abu Dhabi-based Sheikh Shakhbout Medical City.

At his Sustainability in the Laboratory session at Medlab Middle East ME, he shared that the healthcare industry is the fifth largest emitter of carbon in the world, setting figures at 4.4 per cent. These emissions in turn lead to co-morbidities such as heat strokes, cardiovascular and respiratory complications, which threaten human lives and affect professionals’ healthcare mission. “It is a vicious cycle that we need to address,” he added.

Data as rocket fuel for sustainability

Data science plays a big role in paving the path toward sustainability. Dr. Ammash said that we need to use data as “rocket fuel” and harness the skillsets of the new generation of workforce to move the industry forward.

“We need to focus on data governance to ensure clean and accurate data, which is very important to conduct our research studies, and have a policy in place for data collection and protection. We also need to maximise the skills of the new workforce related to data such as data scientists, AI engineers, etc.” he added. Automation and robotics will also need to be implemented to bridge staffing gaps.

Dr. Ammash also highlighted the potential that disruptors hold as new entrants in the healthcare market using Amazon Omics as an example. “These are non-healthcare professionals — tech, retailers and payers — that offer state-of-the-art digital solutions in various sectors of the healthcare industry. We must team up with them to take care of our patients,” he said.

Visit Medlab Middle East 2023 to attend thought-provoking sessions led by industry experts from across the globe.



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