Creating Smarter Data-Driven Systems

Interview with Bachir Awad, Vice President and Managing Director, Cerner Middle East & Africa

By Deepa Narwani, Editor

One of the key highlights of the inaugural ‘Innovation Hub’ at the show is the Motion Health technology being showcased by Cerner. The technology is a screening test that identifies early musculoskeletal problems and supports specialists to provide guidelines for the appropriate exercises to improve joint health and reduce potential injury risks.

Bachir Awad, Vice President and Managing Director, Cerner Middle East & Africa tells Daily Dose: “Motion Health over the last few years has been a major focus of ours on the innovation front. The technology uses Artificial Intelligence (AI) through videography, for instance, where a patient is able to stand in a room, and do various motions for a clinician but at the same time through cameras and technology, we are able to monitor every single movement and then come back and make a clinical assessment and recommendations, as to what potentially maybe wrong with the patient and what can be done to remedy it.

Bachir Awad

“Cerner has pioneered that space with our technology partners through various clinically developed materials that have been developed around it. We are actually quite confident that it is a solution that is ready for the market and has the ability to be able to diagnose diseases of today and potentially be able to prevent the diseases of tomorrow. Even at our booth, we are putting the spotlight on the innovation of tomorrow.”

Cerner has always been an innovative company, Awad highlights, and its focus has always been on ensuring better healthcare outcomes. The company wants to continue to create smarter systems that inform through data, as he stresses that it should be able to provide information that not only the physician can consume, but also what the consumer can use.

“We have got our next-generation platforms around Big Data and Population Health and these inherently have very sophisticated AI algorithms built into it and these systems can determine what’s happening to you as a patient based on the data it has,” he explains. “When data starts to inform decision-making and starts to predict that’s when you get better healthcare outcomes. AI has a big role in how we leverage technology. I think the future of AI could actually speak back to the user and be integrated with medical records, that to me is the next evolution of personalising healthcare.”

Awad emphasises that over the years, Cerner has been focused on how its systems can be delivered at a lower cost and at a faster pace. Ultimately, Awad shares that the company is trying to build efficient, lightweight systems that are not only smart but are also more intuitive and easier to use, but behind the scenes, they are much more agile thereby making them more efficient.

Furthermore, Awad believes that the UAE has been one of the biggest advocates of innovation and is striving to be an innovative country. From that perspective, he says, it’s great to see that theme come into healthcare. Awad concludes: “Cerner has been in the industry for 40 years; it’s a home-grown organisation and we have organically grown through innovation. So, innovation is in our DNA. We love to see our clients wanting to innovate and for us to be able to bring that innovation here to the UAE and to also be able to develop different things through collaboration with our partners here in the UAE and elsewhere in the Middle East. Being able to bring these innovations to the market that are unique and co-developed is definitely a privilege.”