Dr. Al Zhang

Chairman & CEO

Shanghai United Imaging Healthcare Co., Ltd.

Tell us about yourself. What are you showcasing at Arab Health 2022? Any big news during the exhibition?

I am AI Zhang, Chairman and CEO of United Imaging Healthcare. This year we are showcasing a series of high-end medical imaging equipment and innovative technologies such as PET/CT, PET/MR, MR, CT and DR, including the world's first total-body PET/CT uEXPLORER, the world's first 75 cm, ultra-wide bore 3.0T MR uMR OMEGA, a HD TOF PET/MR uPMR 790 and uCT 960+. We’re also highlighting innovative technologies such as the uAIFI Technology Platform based on AI technology.

During the exhibition, we will announce two strategic partnerships. One is a tripartite partnership with King Hussein Cancer Center, the most influential and reputable oncology centre and specialised hospital in ME and surrounding regions, together with Shanghai Zhongshan Hospital, one of the best general hospitals in China. And the other is our collaboration with KIMADIA Authority, an authorised purchase organisation of Iraqi MOH.

The world's first total-body PET/CT uEXPLORER

The world's first 75 cm, ultra-wide bore 3.0T MR uMR OMEGA

uCT 960+


How is United Imaging’s development globally?

Here in Dubai, we set up a regional headquarters and signed a comprehensive strategic cooperation agreement with American Hospital Dubai, one of the top private medical institutions in the Gulf region. The hospital has already introduced our PET/CT uMI 780 and will serve as our clinical application demonstration base in the Middle East and Africa.

In addition, in the Middle East and Africa area, we have 34 products that have received the CE mark. Installations include PET/CT, CT, MR, and DR located in top hospitals and clinical institutions in Egypt, Morocco, South Africa, and more. Partners include Wits Donald Gordon Molecular Imaging in South Africa, Al Tahra Radiology Center (TRC), one of Egypt's four major radiology centres, and American Hospital Dubai, one of the best high-end private general hospitals in UAE and ME region.

We also have set up extensive collaborations with a series of world-renowned clinical and scientific research institutions. One outstanding example is our cooperation with Yale University in developing an advanced neuro PET/CT for the BRAIN Initiative, a major project of America’s National Institute of Health. In addition, with Washington University in St. Louis, we have been advancing the processing of MR cardiac scanning, post-processing, film reading, and diagnosis based on our 1.5T MR empowered by AI. Another example comes from the McGovern Medical School at the University of Texas, in which we push forward molecular imaging research in the cardiac field based on our PET/CT.

The outbreak of the COVID-19 caused a transformation in healthcare. What does the healthcare transformation mean to you?

Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the problem of insufficient global medical resources has become more prominent. The contradiction between the sharp increase in the number of patients and limited medical resources has accelerated the transformation of the medical industry towards digitisation and intelligence. We see that online healthcare and telemedicine are more widely used. AI technology is being integrated into the entire continuum of doctors’ diagnosis and treatment at a faster pace, and applied in more scenarios, helping doctors improve the efficiency and accuracy of diagnosis and treatment.

Facing the impacts of the global pandemic, United Imaging continues to increase investment in innovation, and integrate advanced technologies such as AI technology, IoT and big data into our products and services. For example, we have developed a series of innovative products and solutions for the pandemic, such as the uAI Vision CT that can effectively separate doctors from patients and prevent cross-infection and the mobile CT that makes it easier to send CTs used for diagnosis to areas with scarce medical resources. United Imaging Intelligence, a subsidiary company of UIH Group, has also developed uAI Discover – Pneumonia Detection System to help doctors improve diagnostic efficiency.

To what extent will emerging health technologies such as AI, IoT and big data influence your business priorities?

Emerging technologies such as AI, IoT and big data are shaping the future of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. In particular, the combination of these technologies with high-end industrial manufacturing has become the most promising area to explore and therefore a high priority for United Imaging.

First, with the help of AI technology, we have accelerated intelligent upgrading of our full-portfolio of high-end medical equipment and the entire medical process. We have already begun making equipment and components more intelligent, more miniaturised, and more accurate still with a lower dose. In the future, imaging equipment will no longer be bulky large equipment, but fully intelligent and agile systems that can automatically scan and diagnose patients with higher efficiency, lower dose, and greater accuracy.

Second, we use AI and other technologies to empower the entire clinical process. United Imaging Intelligence, an artificial intelligence subsidiary of United Imaging Group, developed more than 20 AI applications in just over three years, such as uAI Discover – Rib Fracture Detection System and uAI Discover - LungNodule Analysis and Followup System. These have already won several certifications from NMPA, FDA and CE, covered multiple diseases and scenarios, and realised whole-process intelligent image-based diagnosis.

Third, we have used AI and other technologies to empower scientific research and further promote the development of translational medicine, focusing on brain science research and precision diagnosis and treatment of tumours, and promoting mechanism study and prospective research of serious diseases.

Fourth, we have used the internet, big data, 5G and other technologies to promote a wider application of online healthcare and telemedicine to help more hospitals adopt high-quality medical resources and further improve diagnostic efficiency and accuracy.

How important is the resumption of international travel to your business?

We are committed to bringing global leading high-tech medical products to more people in the world. Currently, United Imaging is a company with a global presence, and has established overseas regional headquarters in North America, the Middle East, Europe, Asia Pacific, etc. Its products have been used in medical and scientific research institutions in dozens of countries and regions including the United States, Japan, Europe, etc.

We use modern virtual technologies often, and we always will. But we also see value in being together in person and we look forward to the day when that is considered safe for everyone again. The recovery of international travel is very important to us because it allows us to have more extensive, in-depth face-to-face exchanges with customers from all over the world.