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SEHA, MBZUAI To Collaborate On Clinical Research

Monday, March 1, 2021/ Editor -  

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SEHA clinicians and MBZUAI faculty will explore the integration of Artificial Intelligence in the provision of medical care, with opportunities to research multiple elements of healthcare including the long-term effect of COVID-19 on patient wellbeing

Abu Dhabi, March 01, 2021: Abu Dhabi Health Services Company (SEHA), the largest healthcare network in the UAE, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Mohamed bin Zayed University of Artificial Intelligence (MBZUAI), the world’s first graduate-level, research-based Artificial Intelligence (AI) university, to integrate the use of AI into the provision of medical care, enhancing clinical expertise and elevating the patient experience. 

SEHA’s Group Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Gareth Goodier, and the President of MBZUAI, Professor Dr. Eric Xing, executed the signature of the MoU between both parties. With the objective of facilitating collaborative research projects, the MoU establishes a platform for SEHA’s clinicians and MBZUAI faculty to explore and introduce AI-driven solutions that solve prominent healthcare challenges and uplift the provision of patient-led services.

In addition to the MoU, SEHA and MBZUAI have also joined forces on several research agreements and projects. One of the key focus areas both parties will explore is the development of AI-driven solutions to rapidly quantify COVID-19 infection by measuring an infection score on different lung lobes. This will allow an accurate induction on the severity of the infection and equip physicians with the appropriate tools to identify patients who are at increased risk of developing further complications.

The teams will also investigate the long-term impact of the COVID-19 virus on the UAE’s residents, particularly those with pre-existing health conditions such as heart, liver, or kidney diseases. This research will facilitate the development of federated learning AI solutions to ensure data privacy when accessing anonymized patient records.

Dr. Gareth Goodier, Group Chief Executive Officer, SEHA, said: “The integration of technology in the administrative and medical elements of healthcare is paving the way for a stronger healthcare ecosystem, introducing opportunities for streamlined processes, transformative research, elevated patient experience, and ultimately, a more cost-effective industry.”

“The potential for AI in healthcare is vast, and by partnering with MBZUAI, we are committed to exploring its limitless possibilities in medical research, early detection and diagnosis, decision making, and treatment, as we strive towards fostering the foundations of a robust healthcare sector that meets the UAE’s community’s every need with world class, unparalleled expertise,” continued Dr. Goodier. 

The collaboration between SEHA and MBZUAI, two leading organizations in their respective fields, will also introduce joined efforts in the examination of diagnosis and treatment methods for acute kidney injury, coronary artery disease, fetal health, and AI driven point of care ultrasound for breast cancer, lung infection and kidney cysts. 

Professor Dr. Eric Xing, President of MBZUAI, said: “AI is one of the most transformative tools available to us today. It has already driven innovation and breakthroughs within the medical field and has recently played a significant role in the diagnosis and treatment of COVID-19, as well as in the development of vaccines. By working alongside SEHA’s clinicians and leveraging their world class expertise, MBZUAI intends to use its technology and talent resources to explore the full potential of AI’s role in the evolution of healthcare throughout the UAE, contributing towards a healthier, more sustainable future for the country and its people.”  

Dr. Mohammad Yaqub, an Assistant Professor in MBZUAI’s Computer Vision department, will lead the collaboration on behalf of the University. He said: “Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, AI has contributed towards the development of innovative solutions that are reshaping the relationship between healthcare and technology. Combining the medical, research, and technological expertise of MBZUAI and SEHA will enable us to enhance healthcare in the UAE.” 

The purpose of this bi-lateral collaboration is to contribute to Abu Dhabi’s rapid transformation of the healthcare and technology sectors, exploring the infinite opportunities the synergy of both elements can bring to patient care and the patient journey. As the champion of the UAE’s healthcare agenda and with its rich legacy of delivering world class care rooted in deep understanding of the local culture, SEHA is committed to harnessing the power of technology and innovation to deliver a truly robust, integrated healthcare system with patients at its core.  


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