The recently concluded edition of Arab Health Exhibition & Congress generated business worth a whopping US$824 million, according to a GRS Explori Survey. Organised by Informa Healthcare, the 44th edition of the event took place between 28-31 January at the Dubai World Trade Centre and is one of the largest healthcare events in the MENA region.
Under the theme of ‘Innovation’, the highly successful edition of the event showcased the latest technological advances in medical equipment and devices. Arab Health 2019 welcomed more than 4,262 exhibitors, 64 exhibiting countries, 37 country pavilions, 5,328 delegates, 84,700 visitors, with 159 countries represented, and 106,972 professional visits, across the four days of the show.
The GRS Explori Survey further found that 97 per cent of exhibitors rated Arab Health as an important platform for their business, 93 per cent were overall satisfied with the exhibition, 84 per cent will be exhibiting again next year, and 82 per cent of overall exhibitors have exhibited before.
Major decision-makers right from owners/board directors/chairmen, senior managers, directors, vice presidents, executives, and senior government officials, were all present at the show, making key purchases for their businesses.
The Arab Health Congress continued its streak of attracting renowned speakers from around the world who delivered the highest quality programme of 11 Continuing Medical Education (CME) accredited conferences to local and international medical professionals.
The event also hosted the first ever ‘Innovation Hub’, working alongside government entities such as the UAE Ministry of Health and Prevention, Dubai Health Authority (DHA), Department of Health Abu Dhabi and SEHA. The hub gave an opportunity for attendees to immerse themselves in the latest healthcare innovations and explore technologies including Artificial Intelligence (AI), disease management and home care devices, mobile device accessories, telemedicine platforms, among other breakthrough advancements.
The Innovation Hub was also the platform for the inaugural Innov8 Talks. It included daily free-to-attend talks with discussions led by keynote speakers and hosted a series of pitch sessions for some of the world’s most creative and forward-thinking healthcare start-ups and SMEs to share and sell their ideas to an esteemed panel of judges.
Bringing data to life
At Arab Health, GE Healthcare was looking at how to partner with the public and private sector in the region in order to elevate healthcare and to help provide solutions be it technology, or non-technology solutions that deliver better outcomes. Mohie El Rafey, Chief Marketing Officer, Eastern Growth Markets, GE Healthcare, highlighted that it could be clinical, financial or operational outcomes, but ultimately outcomes that deliver better patient care.
On the sidelines of the show, he told Arab Health Magazine: “Healthcare globally as well as in the region is undergoing a massive transformation. There are three things causing this transformation. The first thing is data. There is so much data that exists in hospitals, but that data is fragmented and siloed, not structured. What we are doing at GE Healthcare is partnering with hospitals to bring that data to life; bring analytics around it and make it simple and easy for people to utilise. But more importantly, make it timely and bring treatments when it matters the most to patients.”
El Rafey explained that the second transformation is the advent of AI. GE Healthcare has a platform called Edison where future applications are developed and embedded into devices, making it smarter and helping it to augment decision-making.
The third transformation, he shared, is around personalised medicine. How does medicine go away from being generic to more personalised? “In the future, treatments are going to be customised for you and this will be through AI enabled smart diagnostics and smart innovations of therapies or treatments, and whether it is monitored outside the healthcare environment of the hospital to make sure your health is maintained and sustained in the long-term,” he concluded.
Spotlight on clinical mobility
For Wayne Miller, Director, EMEA Healthcare Practice, Zebra Technologies, one of the biggest challenges in healthcare is that it is a massive employer around the world and therefore Arab Health becomes the perfect platform as it allows for meeting lots of end-users and getting relevant messages across. In Zebra’s context, it is clinical mobility.
Miller said: “This year at Arab Health we showcased mobility and how do we mobilise the clinician. That needs two things — a mobile device and digital patient records to do this. When people think about digital, they think about very complex systems, which they are. But they all start with a simple barcode — placing a barcode on patients’ wristbands, being able to read that with a clinical smartphone and then going into patient workflows, is the start of digital technology. At the show, we wanted to remind the healthcare sector that it is not as complex as they think.”
When asked about the future of clinical mobility, he emphasised: “Currently, clinical mobility is at the early stages of adoption. In a clinical setting, the smartphone has to be healthcare ready, so it’s disinfectant-ready, it works the full shift for the nurse, and it’s easy to scan. The UAE is a bright light in healthcare in the Middle East. I see a very bright future here and in the region for the adoption of technologies in healthcare. In fact, this region is investing a little bit ahead of what the other regions are doing.”
Enhanced patient experience
In line with the theme of the show, Royal Philips displayed a range of its innovative solutions and products. These included the Philips’ Ingenia Ambition 1.5T MR, which is the world’s first MRI system to enable helium-free operations. The company also showcased two new ultrasound platforms – one for cardiovascular and the other one for general imaging and obstetrics. An interesting innovation on the floor was its eICU programme, a virtual ICU that can monitor patients in the ICU remotely, so the coverage and standardisation of care across a hospital is much higher. The programme combines predictive analytics, data visualisation, and advanced reporting capabilities to deliver vital information to bedside caregivers.
Robert A. Cascella, CEO Diagnosis and Treatment, Royal Philips, said: “It was a great Arab Health this year. We feel like customer engagement was at the highest level and there were good deal discussions around our solutions businesses. We felt we had a lot of strategic discussions about larger projects that concern all of our products and all of our services.
“Our quadruple aim is that all of our products are designed to improve outcomes, lower the cost of care delivery, take some of the burden away from the staff, and enhance the patient experience. It allows us to create technology that is first time right. So, our customers and partners don’t have to keep redoing imaging or interventions.”
Arab Health 2020
Arab Health 2020 will take place from 27-30 January at the Dubai World Trade Centre. For the next edition, the exhibition show floor will be split into sectors according to main product categories. The change for the event would be that the exhibitor stands will be located on the show floor according to a particular product category applicable to their business.
The shift is aimed at ensuring better quality leads as the traffic within the halls will definitely surge with the relevant audience interested in the product category. Furthermore, the close proximity of related exhibitors in a hall is bound to increase the number of visitor meetings that can take place in a time frame, when compared to walking through 64,000 plus square metres of exhibition space.
The eight sectors at the show will include — Medical equipment and devices, disposables and consumer goods, imaging and diagnostics, preventive and post-diagnostic treatments, healthcare and general services, healthcare infrastructure and assets, IT systems and solutions, and orthopaedics and physiotherapy/rehabilitation.
For more information visit www.arabhealthonline.com