This insightful event took place
Thursday the 24th of November 2016
A successful seminar on “New Technologies in the Health Sector” was held by the Arab British Chamber of Commerce on the afternoon of 24 November. The event brought together professionals in the health and medical industries to explore the potential for joint ventures between the UK and Arab health industries at a time when major advances in medical technology are transforming the way we deliver healthcare.
A panel of experts from the industry highlighted the applicability of new computer technology to health treatment including how robotics can assist people with disabilities, how DNA mapping can help identify the early stages of diseases and the use of computers to perform surgical operations remotely.
Chairing the event, Mr Abdeslam El-Idrissi, ABCC Director of Trade Services, explained that it was the first in a new series of business seminars planned by the ABCC which will look at selected sectors where there is real potential for energising cooperation between the UK and the Arab world. Mr El-Idrissi began with a brief introduction about the role of the Chamber and its services.
The meeting identified great potential for closer partnerships between the UK and Arab health industries. British innovators and IT in the Arab world could work together for mutual benefits. Speakers felt that joint research between medical universities could accelerate the knowledge transfer and help develop joint solutions to common healthcare problems.
Mr Frank Domoney
Director, Glencroft Ltd
The first speaker, Mr Frank Domoney, Director, Glencroft Ltd, concentrated on “bioinformatics”, the application of computer technology to the management of biological information. He explained how rapid advances in computerisation were opening up possibilities for early and accurate diagnosis of illness. Mr Domoney mentioned that astounding results achieved by the latest technologies used to detect cancerous tissues. Advanced technology could also detect diabetes efficiently which would be hugely beneficial in countries of the MENA where it was widespread. Finally, he explained how robotics was advancing to permit remote surgery to be conducted via computer with the surgeons working from one location and the patient in another. Supercomputers were now within the budget range of most countries, he said.
Ms Alison B Lowndes
Artificial Intelligence Developer Relations | EMEA, NVIDIA Ltd
Alison Lowndes, Artificial Intelligence Developer Relations, EMEA NVIDIA Ltd, described how Artificial Intelligence (AI) was transforming the world of medicine through “deep learning”. AI has been around for decades but the technology has only recently reached a point where it can be commercialised. She said that NVIDIA began with gaming software but had reinvented itself as an AI company working in cooperation with industry on computer programming and AI applications such as self-drive cars. Ms Lowndes explained that AI could help save billions spent currently on drugs by facilitating early detection of tumours through cancer screening.
Dr Rodney Adeniyi-Jones
Physician, Functional Integrated Medicine, Genesis Wellness
Dr Rodney Adeniyi-Jones, Genesis Wellness, looked at how human-centred technology can help patients to achieve lifestyle changes required to improve a person’s performance and wellbeing. HE explained that wellness involved making the right choices to achieve both a healthy and fulfilling life. He described the several levels of wellness from physical to psychological. It involved diet, exercise, lifestyle choices and mitigating stress. Under performance and lack of wellbeing contributed to higher insurance costs and loss of economic output, he argued. Dr Adeniyi-Jones went on to describe the different techniques that could be used to help enhance wellbeing among individuals and corporate organisations.
Ms Debra Leeves
Director, REX Bionics
The final speaker, Ms Debra Leeves, Director, REX Bionics, looked at how recent innovations in medical technology such as robotics and digital technology could be used to help patients with various mental and physical disabilities. The UK was a leader in investing in scientific research and she estimated that there were thousands of innovative healthcare firms operating in the UK today. She believed that robotic technology to help patients suffering from spinal injuries could make a more important contribution to healthcare in the Middle East which had the highest incidence of such injuries in the world. Ms Leeves also looked at how digital technology could help in the early detection of the early signs of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.