Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum touring Dubai Health Forum 2022
Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum touring Dubai Health Forum 2022 Image Credit: Twitter/@DXBMediaOffice

Dubai: Dubai has an ambitious plan to develop a global centre for heart diseases and surgery, the emirate’s health authority revealed at the opening day of the fourth edition of Dubai Health Forum on Wednesday.

Under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of The Executive Council of Dubai, opened the two-day Forum at Dubai International Convention Centre.

Later in the day, Sheikh Mohammed also toured the forum that showcased game-changing advances in health and wellbeing in line with the Vision 2071 that aims to transform Dubai’s healthcare system into a world-class, cutting edge destination in healthcare and wellness.

During their tours of the Forum, Sheikh Mohammed and Sheikh Hamdan were separately briefed about the global heart centre project by Awadh Seghayer Al Ketbi, director general of the Dubai Health Authority (DHA).

The project, which aims to create a prestigious world-class centre for the treatment of heart diseases, will be equipped with the latest technologies and smart equipment and staffed with highly specialised doctors.

Homecare for heart patients

The leaders were also briefed on Rashid Hospital’s Control and Follow-up Centre for Cardiology that specialises in following up on the progress of heart patients in their homes after they receive treatment at the hospital.

Smart monitoring conducted by the Centre is facilitated through a set of smart devices that monitor the patient’s pulse, oxygen saturation, blood sugar levels and other vital indicators, which allow doctors to assess the state of the patient.

A DHA spokesperson told Gulf News around 50 heart failure patients aged between 25 and 80 are currently being monitored through the home care devices. The smart facility has helped provide early treatment and reduce the number of hospital visits.

The leaders also viewed Rashid Hospital’s equipment for robot-assisted catheterisation operations, which performs cardiac catheterisation with a high rate of accuracy and safety.

Robot-assisted joint surgery

The leaders were also briefed on the robot-assisted technology for knee and joint surgery used by the Orthocure Centre for Orthopedic and Joint Surgery in Dubai, the only centre where the technology is being used outside the United States. Dr. Ali Al Balooshi, consultant Orthopedic and Joint Surgeon provided an overview of the technology and its benefits.

Exchanging expertise

In his opening remarks, Al Ketbi said the global impact of COVID-19 and the experience of dealing with the pandemic has highlighted the value of exchanging experiences and expertise.

“We need to promote stronger relations between health institutions, enhance research, constantly improve professional practices and expand the use of smart technologies and solutions. The Dubai Health Forum, which champions these goals, continues to create platforms to support the global, regional and local industry in achieving these aims. The global health community is currently focused on creating an integrated system capable of facing challenges, dealing with emergency situations and enhancing people’s wellbeing.”

By bringing together leading experts, he said the Forum offers exceptional opportunities to discuss such vital topics and forge a unified global vision for healthcare sustainability and human wellbeing.

COVID success, future readiness

In a panel discussion on 'Overcoming COVID, a national success story', Dr Alawi Asheikh Ali, deputy director-general of DHA, Dr Jamal Alkaabi, undersecretary of the Department of Health – Abu Dhabi, and Dr Yousef Al Serkal, director-general of the Emirates Health Services shared how the wise leadership, the dedicated healthcare professionals, the elaborate infrastructure, science-based approaches and commitment from the people helped the country win the battle over the pandemic. The top health officials also explained how the success in bringing the pandemic under control has better equipped the country in mitigating future crises.

Next emergencies

In another panel discussion on 'Preparing for the next emergency', experts National Emergency Crisis and Disasters Management Authority (NCEMA), Ministry of Health and Prevention (MOHAP), and the World Health Organisation (WHO) discussed the possibilities of future crises that will affect the humans, especially related to healthcare.

Future pandemics with greater impact due to climate change, cyberattacks on healthcare management systems and healthcare disasters due to antibiotic resistance were possible crises that we need to be prepared to deal with, according to Dr Saif Aldhaheri, director of Safety and Prevention Department and spokesperson of NCEMA, Dr Fatma Mahmoud Alattar, head of Federal Technical Advisory Team for Pandemic Control, consultant and director of International Health Regulation office at MOHAP, and Dr Dalia Samhouri, regional manager, Emergency Preparedness Sector and International Health Regulations at WHO.

Mona Al Marri, director-general of Government of Dubai Media Office, spoke about the role of the media in controlling the pandemic.

High-level participation

Earlier, the opening ceremony of the Forum was attended by Abdul Rahman Al Owais, Minister of Health and Prevention; Dr Lia Tadesse Minister of Health of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia; Helal Saeed Al Marri, Director-General of Dubai's Department of Economy and Tourism; and Khalifa bin Darrai, Executive Director of the Dubai Corporation for Ambulance Services.

The event brings together highly respected decision makers, health practitioners, industry experts, scientists, doctors, health specialists and innovators and showcases game-changing advances in health and wellbeing.

More than 2,000 participants, including 60 speakers, representing more than 30 countries, are participating in the Forum. The event features more than 30 sessions, in addition to a range of training workshops, lectures and discussions.

Discussions being held at the Forum over two days are grouped under 10 main themes. Vital topics being discussed include the COVID-19 pandemic, the new normal, the path to recovery, vaccination, effective post-pandemic care, sustainable development of the healthcare industry, the role of the media in the COVID-19 pandemic, digital health, genomics, space medicine, big data and artificial intelligence, value-based care and health economics.