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MoHAP Launches Health Sector’s First National Centre of Excellence for AI

The Ministry of Health and Prevention (MoHAP) has officially launched the UAE health sector’s first Centre of Excellence (COE) for artificial intelligence.

The centre aims to promote the digitalisation of health data, employ smart technologies to develop health capacities and offerings, and establish a comprehensive digital service ecosystem providing service users with sustainable, innovative, high-quality services.

The Ministry announced the COE’s launch while participating in GITEX Technology Week 2023 in Dubai, which is being hosted in the city from October 16-20. Within this participation, the Ministry is presenting a package of digital products and up-to-date technical systems and solutions to meet current and future health needs and solidify its position as a key leader of the government’s digital transformation.

According to the Ministry, the COE, which was assigned Emirati cadres to manage its advanced technology in collaboration with SAS, a global leader in AI and analytics software, whose experts will cover seven fields of expertise. The first is licensing medical facilities, using AI to facilitate location selection for hospitals and medical centres by providing analytic results to investors before they apply for medical facility licenses. The centre will also support doctors to secure necessary licenses based on national needs.

Furthermore, there will also be an organ donation and transplant centre to match donors and patients through test results, helping to facilitate organ transplants and prioritise critical cases both within and outside the country. AI will also be used to analyse the results of radiological scans, increasing the efficiency of diagnoses. In addition, the new centre will launch an AI lab in December of this year.

The COE will also manage the nation’s strategic stock of medicines using AI to link databases and analyse usage in order to establish needs-based distribution strategies. It will track the shipment of medicines from the country of manufacture all the way to the patient, with additional linkage to other national systems.

The Ministry noted that the COE will enhance the analysis of birth and mortality data, which will help to better analyse causes of death and related data. This function will play an important role in managing the Ministry’s crisis, emergency, and disaster centre. Finally, the centre will assist in data security control and big data analysis, which will contribute to strengthening the cybersecurity of the Ministry’s network.

National strategy

To shed further light on the goals of the COE, H.E. Ahmed Ali Al Dashti, Assistant Undersecretary for the Ministry’s Support Services Sector, said that the centre is one part of the Ministry’s vision to develop digital services by applying the latest service technologies, among them AI, big data, and cloud computing. Through this step, the Ministry is aligning with the UAE’s National Strategy for Artificial Intelligence 2031 and the vision of the UAE Centennial 2071.

H.E Al Dashti noted that the establishment of the Centre of Excellence for Artificial Intelligence is the fruit of a joint venture between MoHAP and SAS, a leader in the field of data analysis and AI, in line with the leadership vision to leverage the latest technological innovations, using big data for predictive analysis of information and more effective decision-making. Moreover, the centre aims to attract an elite team of national researchers to drive technological innovation that enhances the UAE’s status as a flourishing global centre and leading example of digital government, in line with the main goals of the UAE National Strategy for Artificial Intelligence 2031.

Health data analysis

Sameer Alkhoory, Information Technology Director and Digital Health Department, said the launch of the COE falls within the framework of applying best data-founded practices to implement optimal means of strategic planning and decision-making, using databases to assess and measure the performance of health services. This is an important element of setting plans and policies and ensuring the ideal distribution of health resources and services to promote the health of society and modernise health indicators.

The centre, Khoury said, will work to develop high-quality analytical and predictive models via AI applications and advanced data sources, with the goal of providing reliable, quality analytics and research that contribute to enhancing the experience of service users. This partnership with SAS will boost the vital role that the centre will play in developing fast and efficient digital solutions for processing big data.

“With innovative technologies like advanced analytics and AI shaping our society, the Ministry of Health and Prevention is committed to leading the way in such developments”, said Michel Ghorayeb, Managing Director of SAS UAE. “Our main goal is to expand the application of AI to improve the well-being and quality of life of service users and society through developing the future of the UAE health sector using artificial intelligence”.

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