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The UAE has never shied away from ambition. Its 2031 vision — We the UAE 2031 — aims to push boundaries in multiple sectors over the next eight years; within health care, this means being ranked among the top 10 countries in the world.

As in many other sectors, much of the advancement will come about through the increased utilisation of artificial intelligence (AI). Industry experts predict that the UAE will add an additional $182 billion to its economy by 2035 through accelerated AI adoption aimed at positioning the nation as a leading, global technology hub for health care.

This greater deployment of advanced technologies is expected to translate into greater efficiencies in health care operations, and also drive the personalisation of care toward enhanced patient outcomes.

Take for example the profound manner in which AI-driven technologies are transforming patient care. Machine learning is used extensively to enable precision medicine, specifically to optimise treatment protocols through the study and analysis of vast amounts of data related to patient attributes, drug response and treatment context.

In practice, this boosts the chances of a treatment being effective, and enhances patient outcomes. In the long run, it also lightens the burden on health systems by minimising resource utilisation.

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Genetic sequencing 

The UAE has already embarked on a nationwide AI-led programme to comprehensively map the Emirati genome. Spearheaded by our partners at the M42 network, the programme uses artificial intelligence, in combination with the latest genetic sequencing technologies, to develop high-quality genomics data.

Billed to be one of the largest population genome initiatives in the world, the programme is expected to allow for the delivery of personalised health care solutions. 3

Such an initiative is also key to ensuring the sustainability and resilience of the health care system. Optimising resource utilisation — by opting for the most efficient interventions for each patient — reduces the load on health systems and facilities. This is why precision medicine, and approaches to ensure its availability, formed a key part of discussions at the recently-concluded COP28 conference in the UAE.

Apart from actively supporting the Emirati Genome Project with our medical expertise and resource, at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi we have already rolled out two new AI-based health technologies to the region in 2023 alone.

Treatment plans in real-time

The ARTIS Icono stroke interventional and imaging system is a state-of-the-art tech that helps save crucial minutes for patients suffering from an ischemic stroke, while our Fatima bint Mubarak Center uses the Ethos adaptive radiotherapy system to adapt radiation treatment plans in real-time based on each patient’s imaging data and changes in anatomy.

These pioneering technologies boost patient outcomes, and they also make health care more sustainable by driving greater efficiency and eliminating wasteful interventions.

With its visionary outlook and openness toward technological innovation, we believe that the UAE is well on its way toward realising a health care landscape that is among the topmost in the world. AI is poised for a much wider footprint in this rapidly evolving industry, given its versatility and far-reaching benefits.

Dr Jorge Guzman is the Chief Executive Officer, Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi