Interview with Mr Jamal Abdulsalam, CEO, Dubai Healthcare City (DHCC)

  1. Tell us about yourself. What are you showcasing at Arab Health 2021?

Dubai Healthcare City (DHCC) is a free zone that brings together core healthcare services attracting the best-in-class global and regional names, working towards advancing excellence in the delivery of healthcare in the UAE, and increasing access to quality healthcare services and information to help people maintain a healthy lifestyle.

We place great pride in providing patient-centric and evidence-based care across 300+ medical specialties, creating an all-inclusive and seamless experience for patients, healthcare professionals and diverse businesses. Working closely with our partners we enable high quality-medical education to develop local talent, research capacity and infrastructure.

Our mission is in complete alignment with the steadfast vision of our country’s future-focused leadership and the UAE Centennial 2071 Plan, which places great focus on innovation and education to advance science and technology and improve health sciences. The drive towards the next 50 years has our nation on a path to becoming incubators of entrepreneurship and an international centre of research. Research and innovation are cornerstones of the DHCC ecosystem, and the work of we do with our partners.

Through a carefully curated ‘Theme-based’ Campaign Programme we are striving to introduce the public to multiple qualified healthcare professionals working in numerous specialties across the free zone – from dentistry to endocrinology, optometry and oncology to genomics. Aligned with Dubai’s events calendar, our aim is for the programme to become the health pillar of the emirate’s activity scene, helping cement DHCC’s position as a destination for excellence in healthcare and wellness.

Arab Health coincides with our 8th themed campaign – ‘DHCC Research & Innovation Season’, underlining the exemplary, influential efforts of experienced teams of researchers operating across DHCC. Currently, there are more than 75 active research studies under way. In the past two years together we have completed 70 research projects, a reflection of our steady growth and conviction to provide the best healthcare facilities backed by scientific research and innovation. With the help of key partners we have implemented the start of three Phase III Clinical Trials and two, Phase II Clinical Trials for illnesses ranging from COVID-19 to cancer, diabetes, autism, gastroenterology, depression, kidney disorders and various pediatric conditions.

We have the fastest Research Ethics Committee in the country in terms of turnaround time for ethics and scientific review of research study proposals. DHCC is also home to some of the best research sites in UAE with multiple medical backgrounds and expertise including Mediclinic City Hospital, our highest producer of research studies, followed by Al Jalila Children’s Specialty Hospital, which focuses on pediatrics and its subspecialties.

During Arab Health 2021 we will feature several key stakeholders and partners showcasing how together we are pushing the envelope in research and innovation, which are integral to a successful healthcare ecosystem.

Our stand at the event will incorporate six sections dedicated to extensive services and offerings within DHCC. Central to this will be the Al Jalila Children’s Specialty Hospital’s Genome Lab, which highlights the hospital’s research and innovation capabilities. Additionally, other key DHCC partners – regional and global healthcare industry heavyweights - will be present, displaying their expertise and services to Arab Health attendees.

We are excited to be featuring some of the leading scientists and researchers in the UAE in a bespoke thought-leader series that will provide Arab Health visitors with invaluable insights into science and research, and the future of healthcare.

Furthermore, visitors to our stand will also be in a chance of winning a free Genomics Screening for certain illnesses.

Visit us at Stand A30 (Hall 6) at Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC).

  1. Could you tell us how your company has responded to the COVID-19 crisis?

We are constantly working with all relevant authorities to ensure our healthcare ecosystem is aligned and adhering to Dubai and federal COVID-19 guidelines to help prevent the spread of infection. We are also in the process of implementing clinic trials in a bid to minimise the impact of the novel coronavirus.

DHCC and its partners have played a leading role in Dubai’s fight against the pandemic. Conducted by researchers at the Mohammed Bin Rashid University of Medicine and Health Sciences (MBRU) in conjunction with Al Jalila Children’s Hospital (AJCH) Genome Center, two of our key anchor partners, successfully performed the UAE’s first full genome sequencing of the virus

Additionally, in line with national efforts to prevent the spread of infection, collaboration with partners enabled the launch of several smart services across clinical facilities in DHCC, including tele-consultations and home healthcare services, and live updates of appropriate measures in response to the evolving needs and requirements posed by the pandemic.

  1. The theme of Arab Health this year is ‘United by business - Driving the industry forward’. How in your opinion can businesses continue to operate in the new normal?

Healthcare, like most other industries, has undergone significant change as a result of the pandemic. One encouraging outcome amid the challenges is acceleration in rapid action, digital transformation and collaboration. As the world moves forward during the COVID-era, cooperation and knowledge sharing will be vital to sustained success. Embracing and optimising new technologies such as artificial intelligence, big data, machine learning and smart solutions will give organisations a competitive advantage in the new normal.

  1. What impact are technologies such as AI, machine learning, blockchain having on healthcare in your opinion? What are some of the growth areas in the industry?

Advanced technologies such as robotics, AI, analytics and blockchain have unlocked new and effective ways to treat illnesses as well as protect data and critical health information. Technology is at the forefront of medical research and development and is significantly benefitting humankind. Utilising the latest available technologies will accelerate the development of medicines, innovate new methods to treat diseases, improve research and development efficiencies, enable faster testing and execution, ultimately enhancing healthcare services and quality of life.

  1. What, according to you, are the opportunities available to healthcare and trade professionals who attend Arab Health?

Arab Health is the largest healthcare exhibition and conference in the Middle East, it provides a great opportunity to network with industry professionals and meet with potential new partners, exchange knowledge and expertise with a shared goal of advancing healthcare delivery. It also provides DHCC an opportunity to show case its business partners and their successes and initiatives.

  1. Could you shed light on any future plans or partnerships?

Our goal is to continue evolving our healthcare ecosystem and bringing together more core healthcare services and ensure that current and future partners within our community have everything they need to improve delivery of healthcare in the UAE. We will strive to increase access to quality healthcare services and information to help people maintain a healthy lifestyle.