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AI-powered platform to support diabetic care in GCC

AstraZeneca establishes Health Innovation Hub in GCC that is driven by AI and will work as a gateway between healthcare professionals and patients.

Recently, AstraZeneca and UK medtech start-up Gendius, which specialises in remote disease management, launched the GCC Health Innovation Hub, a culmination of digital innovation efforts to make diagnosis and treatment easier for diabetic patients. As a result of this partnership, HealthGATE – an artificial intelligence (AI)-powered platform and app to support diabetic patient care in the GCC – will be launched later this year.

The HealthGATE app will work as a gateway between healthcare professionals and patients, enabling collaboration for personalised care and the use of AI for better disease management.

Ahmed Soliman, Medical Director – GCC, AstraZeneca GCC told Omnia Health Magazine: “The GCC Health Innovation Hub is the ninth Emerging Market Health Innovation Hub set up by AstraZeneca in the International region (Emerging Markets region) to create integrated science ecosystems through local bio-hubs across the world. These Health Innovation Hubs improve local capacity for R&D to address local needs and reinforce the company’s commitment to create and strengthen partnerships across emerging biomedical clusters to accelerate innovation, increase healthcare access and improve outcomes for patients and society.”

He highlighted that one such example is the Argentina Health Innovation Hub. Launched with the signing of a collaborative agreement with the Argentinian Ministry of Science, Technology and Productive Innovation, and later endorsed by an MoU with the National Secretary of Health in August 2019, Argentina’s Health Innovation Hub aspires to develop the country’s healthcare landscape, introducing a paradigm shift in treatment and diagnosis, and elevating the direction of public policy towards precision medicine.

The core objective of the Emerging Market Health Innovation Hubs is the promotion of global cooperation to further the abilities of science and medicine to improve the lives of patients in these markets. The GCC Health Innovation Hub provides a healthcare ecosystem as it supports local government initiatives and national visions through providing both patients and healthcare practitioners (HCPs) with innovative tools to collaborate and better manage diseases, for improved patient outcomes.

“The GCC countries have ambitious but achievable, national strategies and we are pleased to support these however we can – our medicines, ongoing clinical research and support to the medical community give hope to patients across the region. I am left in no doubt that these strategic visions and plans to invest in advanced sciences, combined with our support through the GCC Health Innovation Hub, ensures a robust healthcare ecosystem in the GCC now and in the future,” stressed Soliman.

How does HealthGATE work?

With Intellin, Gendius’ application service, HealthGATE will use AI to actively monitor patients’ diabetes management and uses their clinical history to highlight their risk for developing diabetes-related complications, such as cardiovascular disease, kidney disease, amputation and blindness. Its algorithms analyse users’ health and wellbeing data to provide individually tailored, clinically validated educational content and guidance, to help people with diabetes manage their condition more effectively.

Moreover, Intellin will provide HealthGATE with the facility to enable users to track and manage their diabetes on a daily basis. The platform integrates with over 150 different diabetes monitoring devices and shares this information with HCPs via a secure dashboard. Through Intellin, HealthGATE will additionally enable participating physicians to follow up with their patients on an individual basis, with the facility to remotely monitor their diabetes.

Soliman explained: “Scheduled to go live in Q3 of this year, the HealthGATE app is a comprehensive healthcare tool for patients in GCC countries. It will enable patients to take part in online consultations, obtain e-prescriptions, and access a library of additional resources for the management of personal well-being from their smartphones: educational materials, risk monitoring and drug delivery services are all readily available, supported by provision from partnering pharmaceutical companies.”

HealthGATE builds on the success of AstraZeneca EduGATE. Launched in Saudi Arabia in March 2019, this platform proved to be an instant success with HCPs, with more than 9,500 medical professionals registering within the first few months.

“AZ EduGATE has been very successful in Saudi Arabia, providing HCPs with scientific information in an innovative way, since its launch. From product information through to educational materials, HCPs are able to access a wide range of content via either the website or mobile app, at their convenience.

“In recent months, we have hosted more online meetings and webinars, helping HCPs to network and connect in a much more collaborative way during the COVID-19 pandemic, and have seen a spike in visits to the portal from HCPs in this time.

“By providing an accessible service for sharing patient materials, medical guidelines, live streaming events, online accreditations and more, EduGATE has helped to further our ability to communicate with local physicians, creating not just engagement, but an experience,” shared Soliman.

Embracing innovation

When asked about the impact of innovation in healthcare, Soliman said that AI is constantly transforming the way healthcare is approached, enabling the creation of solutions that may have been considered impossible only a few years ago.

“While HealthGATE is a great example of AI in practice, there is no doubt that there is much more to come as a result of the proper application of AI in healthcare,” he said. “AI and robotics are key elements of National Strategies in the GCC, with the UAE and KSA leading the way in adopting and implementing the latest technologies in patient care. It is this plan and ambition that has spurred us on to launch the GCC Health Innovation Hub, as we know the region is ready to embrace newer and better technologies to continue to improve the patient experience.”

According to Soliman, the use of technology and digital innovation, from AI through to automated systems and processes are driving the healthcare ecosystem forward, with new and innovative models of patient care increasingly being implemented across disease areas.

“There is no doubt that the GCC countries are taking every possible step to ensure a robust healthcare system is in place now and in the future, moving increasingly towards curative to preventative care, with the patient at the heart of all initiatives.

“The national visions of the GCC governments have put the spotlight on healthcare, ensuring that measures are being taken to put the region at the forefront of modern healthcare. Finally, we must acknowledge the power of partnerships in the GCC – both within companies sharing the same vision and values, as well as between the private and public sector, to improve patient experience and outcomes,” he concluded.

Emirates Oncology Society and AstraZeneca announce partnership

The Emirates Oncology Society and AstraZeneca recently announced a collaboration that aims to address and improve cancer management in the UAE. With a focus on lung, ovarian and breast cancers, the initiative supports the Government’s target to reduce cancer mortality by nearly 18 per cent by 2021. Under the banner of “United Against Cancer”, the two organisations have signed an MoU to raise public understanding of the importance of early detection of cancer. They will also explore policy recommendations to increase the number of people who undergo screenings and improve the referral process and support available for those who are positively diagnosed.

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