The Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development (ADDED) recently organized a workshop focusing on the growing cooperation between Abu Dhabi and Japan in the medical field and their rising use of modern technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI). The workshop was held in partnership with the Japan Cooperation Center for the Middle East (JCCME) and the Department of Health - Abu Dhabi (DoH).
The virtual event was part of ADDED’s efforts to strengthen its partnership with JCCME so that both parties can explore promising investment opportunities and exchange knowledge and experiences for modern delivery of healthcare solutions. Their collaboration is also seen to result in new medical innovations and enhanced healthcare industry in Abu Dhabi, which will benefit from Japan’s scientific, technical and technological capabilities as a result of its bilateral cooperation with the Asian country.
H.E. Rashed Abdul Karim Al Balooshi, Undersecretary of ADDED, emphasized that the interactive workshop, along with other meetings, served to boost the Department’s ties with JCCME as a means to further improve the local healthcare sector, especially during the unprecedented circumstances brought about by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
H.E. Al Balooshi reiterated the Abu Dhabi Government’s keenness to establish long-standing relations with leading international medical organizations and companies as part of its efforts to build a world-class and innovative health system that will make Abu Dhabi and the wider UAE better prepared to handle the spread of infectious diseases, including COVID-19, and face pandemics that pose danger to societies.
Highlighting the government’s efforts made to promote innovation, H.E. Al Balooshi noted that the UAE Ministry of Economy and ADDED joined forces in 2017 to launch the ‘Technology Innovation Pioneers (TIP)’ program. TIP aims to provide innovators and start-up owners with the needed motivation and support as they come up with effective solutions to the current and potential energy, healthcare, environmental and sustainability issues.
“The workshop, which was held in coordination with JCCME, shed light on the promising innovation and research and development (R&D) opportunities in the UAE in the field of healthcare. It focused on how to strengthen the collaboration between Abu Dhabi and JCCME officials, as well as how to facilitate efficient knowledge exchange between healthcare professionals in the UAE and Japan,” he said.
Part of the discussions during the virtual workshop was the future Abu Dhabi-Japan cooperation in various medical areas, including the study of COVID-19 vaccines and medicines, research on epidemiological diseases, usage of modern technology and implementation of capabilities to develop and ensure the healthcare sector’s readiness to handle future epidemics.
The attendees also tackled the growing adoption of AI and other innovative techniques by hospitals to save time and effort as well as provide high-quality services to patients and visitors. Other topics were building a secure medical database for automatic recording of patient data and medical reports; offering telehealth or remote services to patients; applying AI in endoscopy procedures; and inventing a self-driving wheelchair, among others.
The participants included Yutaka Inoue, Managing Director, JCCME; Khalid Al Busaidi, Executive Director of International Economic Relations Sector, ADDED; Dr. Asma Al Mannaei, Director of Healthcare Quality, DoH; Dr. Farida Al Hosani, Manager of Communicable Diseases Department, DoH; and doctors and medical researchers and developers from the UAE and Japan.