Abu Dhabi’s SEHA and MBZUAI join forces to integrate AI in healthcare solutions

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The largest healthcare network in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has partnered with the world’s first graduate-level and research-based artificial intelligence (AI) university, to integrate the use of AI in healthcare.

Abu Dhabi Health Services Company (SEHA) announced it has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Mohamed bin Zayed University of Artificial Intelligence (MBZUAI) with the aim of exploring and introducing “AI-driven solutions that solve prominent healthcare challenges and uplift the provision of patient-led services.”

Gareth Goodier, Group CEO of SEHA explained: “The integration of technology in the administrative and medical elements of healthcare is paving the way for a stronger healthcare ecosystem, introducing opportunities for streamlined processes, transformative research, elevated patient experience, and ultimately, a more cost-effective industry.”

He continued: “The potential for AI in healthcare is vast, and by partnering with MBZUAI, we are committed to exploring its limitless possibilities in medical research, early detection and diagnosis, decision making, and treatment, as we strive towards fostering the foundations of a robust healthcare sector that meets the UAE’s community’s every need with world class, unparalleled expertise.”

SEHA confirmed that the partnership is part of Abu Dhabi’s “rapid transformation of the healthcare and technology sectors, exploring the infinite opportunities the synergy of both elements can bring to patient care and the patient journey.”

It continued in its statement: “As the champion of the UAE’s healthcare agenda and with its rich legacy of delivering world-class care rooted in deep understanding of the local culture, SEHA is committed to harnessing the power of technology and innovation to deliver a truly robust, integrated healthcare system with patients at its core.”

Both parties have also agreed to work on additional research agreements and projects, including “exploring the development of AI-driven solutions to rapidly quantify COVID-19 infection by measuring an infection score on different lung lobes.”

It is hoped that this research would identify an accurate method of measuring the severity of infection, allowing physicians access to the correct tools that can quickly identify patients who are at increased risk of developing complications.

The institutes will also study the long-term impact of COVID-19 on UAE residents, focusing on patients with pre-existing health conditions, such as heart, liver, or kidney diseases. Here, results would be used to “facilitate the development of federated learning AI solutions” that can ensure data privacy when accessing anonymised patient records.

Further collaborations will examine diagnosis and treatment methods for acute kidney injury, coronary artery disease, fetal health, as well as AI-driven ultrasounds for breast cancer, lung infections and kidney cysts.

“AI is one of the most transformative tools available to us today. It has already driven innovation and breakthroughs within the medical field and has recently played a significant role in the diagnosis and treatment of COVID-19, as well as in the development of vaccines,” said MBZUAI President, Eric Xing. “By working alongside SEHA’s clinicians and leveraging their world class expertise, MBZUAI intends to use its technology and talent resources to explore the full potential of AI’s role in the evolution of healthcare throughout the UAE, contributing towards a healthier, more sustainable future for the country and its people.”