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Research and innovation drives excellence in clinical outcomes

Article-Research and innovation drives excellence in clinical outcomes

Image courtesy Canva research and innovation.jpg
Numerous firsts continue to set the trend for Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi.

The UAE continues to draw patients from local and international markets as its reputation for trans-forming the region into a healthcare hub through research and innovation reaches worldwide acclaim. The emirate of Abu Dhabi has specifically created a healthcare ecosystem that caters to and ad-dresses the evolving needs of the massive local and expatriate population that has made it home, ensuring only the best healthcare is easily accessible through the finest facilities. A major driver of this ecosystem is the cutting-edge research and innovation that is aimed at addressing the evolving healthcare needs of the community and wider region.

Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi, a Mubadala Health partner, is part of that ecosystem, solidifying its posi-tion as a world-class facility for complex, leading-edge healthcare and an incubator for research and innovation, pioneering technologies, treatments and surgeries.

With numerous awards to its belt, including UAE's top hospital in Newsweek's World's Best Hospitals 2022, and recently ranked No.1 smart hospital in the UAE and GCC by Newsweek – ranked among three hundred hospitals from 28 different countries – Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi’s record of excel-lence is unmatched for innovation and customer and patient-centric care. It also offers more than 50 medical and surgical specialties, allowing it to perform complex procedures across a wide range of disciplines, delivering the world’s best healthcare.

Dr. Jorge Guzman, Chief Executive Officer, Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi says, “In order to enhance healthcare in the UAE, we collaborate on several government programmes, direct significant research projects, and deliver state-of-the-art clinical solutions to the region. The Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi Research Institute excels by setting itself apart through a team-based research methodology. In or-der to offer our patients the highest calibre of care and expertise, we partner with a network of pro-viders, and source specialists, top surgeons, physicians, and caregivers from around the world who pioneer treatments and surgeries, and serve as examples of our forward-thinking approach.”

Precision and personalised medicine

Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi’s Precision Prevention Programme seeks to make sure that the most suc-cessful interventions are directed at the appropriate individuals at the most apt times. The pro-gramme’s goal is to change the way healthcare is traditionally provided by focusing on disease pre-vention rather than disease treatment. Advanced precision diagnostics, which includes proteomics, genetic screening, and advanced lipid testing, and lifestyle management principles, make up the pre-cision prevention program's two complex components.

With its considerable knowledge and experience in genetic counselling and testing, Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi has collaborated with the Department of Health Abu Dhabi's (DoH) Personalised Precision Medicine Program for oncology. The programme’s initial phase focuses solely on breast cancer, which is the most prevalent kind of cancer in the UAE, and offers high-risk patients personalised cancer prevention strategies as well as therapy options for some breast cancer patients. This partnership enables Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi to create and introduce clinical testing standards that assist pre-sent and future breast cancer patients through individualized genetic profiling, by utilising cutting-edge technology and data obtained from the Abu Dhabi Genome Programme.

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Dr. Jorge Guzman, Chief Executive Officer, Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi

Dr. Guzman adds, “Information about one’s risk is empowering, and it allows the physician to help patients to reduce their chances of getting breast cancer. At Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi, we have an excellent genetic counseling program, and we recently finished a successful pilot of germline testing for cancer patients. The Emirati Genome Project, which uses germline testing to enhance screening of Emirati females in order to prevent and diagnose those at risk of hereditary breast and ovarian cancers.”

The Cancer Center

A few years back, as the highest out-migration for treatment was cancer, the Abu Dhabi government decided to partner with Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi to build a Cancer Center.

Dr. Guzman says, “Innovation is Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi’s DNA. Showcasing this is the new Can-cer Center which opened in November and is equipped with state-of-the-art equipment to deliver only the best treatment to cancer patients.”

The hi-tech equipment includes Ethos Adaptive Radiation Therapy, the first in the UAE. This uses Artificial Intelligence to allow the physician to change the plans of where the radiation will go each day, so as to provide the most accurate radiation, and to reduce unnecessary exposure by radiation to healthy tissue.

Clinical trials

Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi's research division, together with its multidisciplinary team, collaborates with universities and other strategic partners, fostering collaborative models through established local and international partnerships, including its global campuses to advance healthcare in the communi-ty. It continues to invest in the next generation of clinical caregivers and healthcare professionals through wider education and research efforts, and creates innovative therapeutic strategies, cutting-edge diagnostics, and preventative care alternatives that will benefit the people of the UAE for years to come.

Three studies that address obesity, breast cancer, and liver health are currently underway. Our phy-sician scientists are also working on the first in the world, novel endothelial cell base research trial to discover and validate genes which can lead to an efficient and economical way of drug discovery to address these chronic diseases.

The Emirati population is at the center of all three studies, which employ a genome-based methodol-ogy that focuses on genome or DNA data. This method allows for the comparison and validation of results, accelerating the creation of unique therapeutic strategies and individualized healthcare solu-tions for various medical disorders.

New technologies and other firsts

Machine learning is a new branch of artificial intelligence that has the potential to predict and improve clinical outcomes. In order to include predictive modeling into the treatment provided to our patients and to deliver a more focused approach to diagnoses, therapies, and preventative care, our physi-cian scientists are developing algorithms linked to stroke, cardiovascular diseases, and infectious dis-eases.

Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi has achieved numerous firsts including a recent agreement with wearable technology manufacturers to monitor patients’ vital signs from the comfort of their homes. The Heart, Vascular & Thoracic Institute recently performed the first valve-in-valve transcatheter mitral valve re-placement surgery on an elderly patient who had previously been warned by other hospitals that the procedure was too hazardous.

Physicians at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi have consistently sought to improve the lives of their pa-tients through innovative technologies and unmatched expertise. They performed the UAE’s first im-plant of a synchronized leadless miniature pacemaker. The device is 93 percent smaller than a tradi-tional pacemaker and smaller than a dirham coin and it eliminates potential complications associated with traditional pacemakers. In addition, the hospital performed the UAE’s first kidney-pancreas transplant and the first simultaneous liver-kidney transplant in the UAE. The institute has since gone on to perform more than 200 organ transplants.

Dr. Guzman concludes, “With the launch of the Cancer Center, we are entering a new era of research and innovation. Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi continues to be forward-thinking and anticipates eagerly the part it will play in the development of new technologies and innovations as we continue to strive toward delivering ever enhanced patient care, to the UAE and the wider region.”   

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