Sheikh Hamdan
Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammad bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Dubai Executive Council Image Credit: Twitter/ Courtesy: @HamdanMohammed

Dubai: Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammad bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, Chairman of the Dubai Executive Council and Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Dubai Future Foundation (DFF), said Dubai is fully prepared to tackle any challenges in the upcoming period through its strategic framework and comprehensive groundwork to envision and shape the future. The emirate is not bound by notions of what is considered impossible and does not falter in the face of difficulties and obstacles, he said.

Sheikh Hamdan’s remarks came as he reviewed the prototype of an innovative medical ventilator fully designed and assembled in the UAE by a specialised team of local and international experts from DFF in collaboration with public and private institutions and research centers. The development of the ventilator is part of the country’s efforts to deploy breakthrough technologies in the fight against COVID-19 and enhance its healthcare capabilities.

Sheikh Hamdan said the accomplishment has been guided by the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai a global R&D hub for futuristic technologies and a key driver of Dubai and the UAE’s efforts to enhance their technological, medical and scientific sectors.

“We are proud of the efforts of talented local specialists who designed and developed an innovative medical ventilator indigenously. We are also proud of DFF’s efforts in making this scientific achievement possible. Accomplishments like this further contribute to realising Sheikh Mohammed’s vision for the future and his commitment to fostering local talent and innovative homegrown technology, as well as the country’s proactive efforts to raise its advanced healthcare competencies,” Sheikh Hamdan said.

International standards

Khalifa Al Qama, Director of Laboratories at Dubai Future Foundation and Saqr Bin Ghaleb, Director of The Office of Artificial Intelligence and a member of the project’s scientific team outlined the specifications of the medical ventilators designed to meet the highest international medical standards. The development of the ventilator will help meet the growing demand for medical equipment to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.

The devices have been presented to the Ministry of Health and Prevention and the Dubai Health Authority. Field trials on the devices will begin in a few days. Once deployed, the ventilators will boost the availability of critical care equipment.

The idea behind the project

Team members said the project was conceived when the COVID-19 pandemic started spreading rapidly around the world, which necessitated increased numbers of medical ventilators in hospitals and healthcare facilities. As global supply chains came under intense pressure due to the restrictions imposed by most countries, there was an increased demand for the production of ventilators.

Efficient devices for long-term use

The team designed and tested medical ventilators that can provide oxygen to patients for long periods and efficiently adapt to changes in vital indicators such as blood pressure, heart rate and temperature. The ventilators can be made from materials that can be easily procured and manufactured.

Considering the worldwide scarcity of medical components and equipment in the current period, the project team was keen to use easily available materials and components. The resources for the development of the ventilators were procured locally in cooperation with government agencies, private companies, research centres, academic institutions and universities, including Dubai’s COVID-19 Command and Control Centre, the Ministry of Health and Prevention, the Dubai Department of Health and the Mohammed Bin Rashid University of Medicine and Health Sciences.

Sheikh Hamdan directed the team working on the medical ventilators project to coordinate efforts with local laboratories, specialised companies, national and international universities and other stakeholders in Dubai, the UAE, and across the world to accelerate the implementation of projects that can help meet potential future challenges.

"In Dubai, we believe that all stakeholders are key partners in shaping our success stories and enhancing our ability to meet challenges. We will be able to achieve more through innovation. I am confident Dubai will become a leader among the cities of the future," said Sheikh Hamdan.

The Dubai crown prince expressed his appreciation to all who participated in the project, which was based on the innovative idea of a team of ambitious young people who believed it was their duty to support frontline personnel in the health sector.