Dubai, UAE, January 7, 2018: Precision medicine, genomics research, lifestyle management and Artificial Intelligence (AI), are some of the topics that will be discussed at the Dubai Health Forum in January 2018, said a top health official.
His Excellency Humaid Al Qutami, Chairman of the Board and Director-General of DHA, earlier announced that the forum will be held from January 15-16 featuring over 33 international speakers from 22 countries.
“The forum is in alignment with the goals of the Dubai Health Strategy 2021 and will showcase new technology and innovations in health care delivery. We are very focused on using the latest in technology to better patient care. In medicine particularly, it is important to keep up-to-date with the latest in technology because it has a direct impact in improving the lives of patients.”
Key speakers include top global experts in the field of healthcare and information technology. Speakers include fourteen-year-old Tanmay Bakshi Algorithmist, Author, Watson & Cognitive Developer, YouTube, Eric Brown Director, Foundational Innovation
IBM Watson Health, Thomas Bornemann Director, Mental Health Program, The Carter Center, Juan Enriquez Co-founder, Synthetic Genomics Inc.Managing Director, Excel Venture Management. Co-author, Evolving Ourselves; Amitabh Chandra Professor of Public Policy, Director of Health Policy Research, Chiecko Asakawa IBM Fellow & visiting faculty member at Carnegie Mellon University, Ruben Meerman, Scientist, Australian Television Science Presenter and Public Speaker.
Dr Manal Taryam, head of DHA's Primary Health Centres, said: “This year, we will focus on genomics, AI and how AI can be used in diagnostics and radiology. Globally artificial intelligence companies are discussing how the technology can be used from population health management, to digital avatars capable of answering specific patient queries. They believe this is possible before 2025. IBM Watson Group-backed Pathway Genomics has recently started a research study for its new blood test kit, CancerIntercept Detect. The company will collect blood samples from high-risk individuals who have never been diagnosed with the disease to determine if early detection is possible. So the possibilities with AI are endless.”
“Last year at the forum, we discussed the implementation of 3D printing and within one year we have already conducted some surgeries using 3D printing at DHA hospitals and we have introduced the technology in the field of dentistry across DHA's dental clinics.
Therefore, I am confident that the technology showcased will be put to use. We will display both existing technology as well as technology that is being researched at the moment.”
She added that the Authority will focus on the use of robotics in heart, eye and other organ surgeries; and the implementation of Block Chain in health care delivery; and the use of smart technology and sensors in geriatric care.”
She added that in geriatric and emergency care particularly, telemedicine and distance care is of vital importance. “The Authority is the first government health organization in the region to implement telehealth. This year, RoboDocs have been placed at Hatta Hospital's emergency department and DHA's 24-hour primary healthcare centres- Al Barsha and Nad Al Hammar and they are linked to Rashid Hospital's Trauma Center. In geriatric care, we have home-care programs and over the next few years, we are increasingly focusing on providing this group of patients with telehealth solutions.”
Dr Taryam, added: “As telehealth plays an even greater role in global health care delivery, it will be increasingly important to develop a strong evidence base telehealth solutions and programs that can lead to scalable and improve the lives of patients, their caregivers and health care facilities. Remote patient monitoring will definitely transform care delivery.”
Dr Taryam discussed an emerging field of health care — lifestyle medicine, to tackle non-communicable diseases such as diabetes, obesity, hypertension, cancer and even mental health in a holistic way.
“Through lifestyle medicine, we can identify high-risk groups and use a variety of methods such as involve family counselling, lifestyle training and education to handle the condition. This is a new approach and we will consider how we can apply this in our health system.”
She added that the forum will discuss the use of precision medicine in cardiac disease and cancer specially where new targeted therapies now focus on the patient rather than on the disease. “Individualized care will take centre-stage in the years to come. At the end of the day, all these technologies are aimed to improve the lives of patients better.”