29th Jan 2020

Role of healthcare technology in fighting diabetes

Dubai Science Park (DSP), a science and healthcare-focused business community, hosted the 10th edition of its Advance Health forum to highlight how technology is transforming diabetes treatment and prevention in the UAE.

The relentless rise of disruptive technology is transforming healthcare systems around world and the role of health-tech in diabetes diagnosis continues to surge in proportion to this growth.

Organised in partnership with Connect Communications and Synapse Medical Services, Advance Health took place on January 29 at Arab Health.

It was chaired by Marwan Abdulaziz Janahi, Managing Director of Dubai Science Park and Chairing Member of the Pharmaceuticals and Medical Equipment Taskforce of the Dubai Industrial Strategy 2030.

Speaking at the session, Janahi said: “Diabetes is on the rise and reducing the number of patients diagnosed each year is a priority not just in the UAE but globally. Dubai Science Park is proud to support innovative business partners who are using new technologies to diagnose and treat the disease. With modern offices, laboratories and warehouses, our ecosystem has advanced infrastructure and a business-friendly environment to help healthcare companies from multinational corporations to SMEs and startups contribute significantly to reducing diabetes prevalence.”

Janahi was joined at the panel discussion by Fatheya Al Awadi, Head of Endocrinology at Dubai Hospital, Scott Cunningham, Chief Technical Officer at MyWay Digital Health, Dr Nairah Rasul-Syed, Medical Director & Consultant at Virtual Home Healthcare Services, and Ben McGough, Digital Workstream Lead at the NHS Diabetes Programme.

According to the latest data from the International Diabetes Federation, more than 460 million people – one in 11 adults – suffer from diabetes. It is estimated that 19 per cent of the UAE population has diabetes, and if the current trend continues, 32 per cent of adults aged between 20 and 79 may have diabetes or prediabetes by the next decade in the country.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) ranked diabetes as the seventh-leading cause of death worldwide in 2016. The problem is particularly severe in the UAE – one of the world’s top 10 countries for diabetes prevalence – and the wider Middle East. The findings come from a study by three researchers from the College of Medicine and Health Sciences of the United Arab Emirates University in Al Ain, published in the peer-reviewed medical journal BMJ Open.

Dubai Science Park hosted Advance Health as part of its ongoing commitment to promoting discussion, encouraging networking, supporting growth in science and technology, and helping its business partners contribute to UAE’s ongoing economic diversification.