Over 55,000 people from 159 countries attended the Arab Health 2020 Dubai show to introduce and discover revolutionary technologies for the health sector.
The appearance of the coronavirus has shown us the vulnerability of our global health system. One of the keys to stopping the spread of such infections is increased connectivity and communication between health organizations. This was one of the topics discussed at the Dubai show.
For example, artificial intelligence, by connecting and analyzing health data, can improve response time in the event of a crisis.
“As emergency doctors, we are often on the front line,” said Dr. Jacques Kobersy, director of the Cleveland Abu Dhabi Clinic’s Institute of Emergency Medicine, a participant in the show. “But let me give you an example of the usefulness of technology and artificial intelligence in the event of epidemics like with the current coronavirus, but also with the seasonal flu; when an organization like the WHO is aware of the circulation of new viruses, artificial intelligence can allow us to track these unusual symptoms long before health professionals and services know of them,” he explains. “This helps us anticipate this kind of pandemic, maybe a month before it really spreads,” he says.
Among them were autonomous ambulances without drivers that could reach patients’ homes as soon as an emergency call was made.
“Knowing that in the future high-risk patients will carry portable devices that monitor their health when something happens to the patient, the devices will send all vital parameters to the system and the hospital so that the doctor can monitor the patient’s condition 24 hours a day,” explains Dr. Rashid Al Hashimi, member of the Youth Council of the Ministry of Health and Prevention of the United Arab Emirates.
“The ambulance will be a stand-alone vehicle that will go directly to the patient’s home; when the patient is on board, the high-resolution cameras will analyze his face and transmit all the needed health data to the emergency rescuers so that they can help him,” he described before adding: “During the journey to the hospital there will be a virtual doctor on board and in traffic, all the lights will turn green as the vehicle approaches them.”
Remote Heart Monitoring Implants and Stem Cells to treat Damaged Hearts
Artificial intelligence is already present in implants that register vital parameters.
“The devices can be placed under the skin and can remotely monitor the condition of a patient’s heart, even when they are at home,” says Dr. Noor Al Muhairi, director of the UAE hospital’s medical service.
“Thirty patients were implanted with this device and when one of them was in London, we saw a defect in his heart, called him and told him to go to the hospital immediately and that saved him,” she said.
Another novelty is that it is now possible to regenerate damaged heart cells. “In terms of treatment, we have collaborated with the University of Osaka, where their teams have conducted a study on stem cells that have generated new heart cells,” says Dr. Noor Al Muhairi. “Stem cells can be used to regenerate these types of cells, it is one of the latest technologies in the treatment of the heart and, in collaboration with Japan, we are going to conduct a clinical study here with the Ministry of Health,” she adds.
Machine learning to analyze injuries
There is also a visual analysis of the injuries, which, thanks to Machine Learning, helps healthcare providers to choose the right treatment.
“This machine monitors the healing process of a diabetic foot in patients, and gives us the results in thirty seconds, by just scanning the wound,” says Dr. Halima Al Shehhi, Unit Director of the Emergency Department of the UAE Department of Health.
“The machine has the information of the patient for the past 15 years and will compare the situation with older injuries and analyze the problem,” she says. “In this way, complications associated with diabetes, such as amputation, can be avoided,” she said.
Dr. Jacques Kobersy adds: “Whether it’s artificial intelligence or new methods of analyzing and treating the condition of patients, concepts that only existed in our imagination a few years ago are now a reality.
All these technologies have the same goal: to take us from treatment medicine to preventive medicine.