As Arab Health 2021 came to a close last week, there were some very clear themes that emerged through the week. One of them being the focus and more importantly, the adoption of healthcare technologies in the UAE.
There has been a strong push by the government where it is seen leveraging healthtech and smart healthcare to promote an integrated experience and improve patient outcomes. Furthermore, the UAE government plans to prioritize fostering development of future technologies. Regulatory authorities’ openness toward futuristic technologies and their application in the healthcare industry created an agile environment. The country is predicted to add an additional GBP 131.1 billion to its economy by 2035 on the back of accelerated AI adoption and associated healthcare related technology.
Telemedicine solutions, in particular, have witnessed a surge in popularity across the UAE due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Many medical institutions are jumping on the trend by offering several options for residents that continue to practice social distancing. This is still an underserved market and many private players have been making a beeline to the UAE as they are noticing high adoption rates by private healthcare operators.
In a country where people prioritise convenience, experience and technology, it’s no surprise that the UAE has embraced telehealth quicker than most. Research by Aetna International found that 54 per cent of UAE expats are highly likely to use virtual healthcare services to access primary care, 14 per cent higher than the global average (data from vHealth showed a 500 per cent increase in utilisation between March and September 2020).
Another important step towards the digitalisation of healthcare is the deployment of a unified electronic medical record, which gives providers a comprehensive view of a patient’s healthcare information, also continues to gain traction in the region. With the UAE planning to digitise all health records and unify them in a single database by 2022, this presents an array of opportunities for UK tech and healthcare solution providers in the region.
For UK firms considering exporting their product and services to the region, watch this space as we keep you updated on the latest in market trends, as many more digital initiatives are deployed to increase and improve efficiencies in the healthcare sector in the UAE.
About the author:
Business Operations Manager
LinkedIn: Vineetha Sony