First Abu Dhabi health week gets under way with new approach to care

From personalised care to anti-ageing treatment, the inaugural Global Healthcare Week offers renewed focus on illness prevention

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Talks on the future of human health and how to harness the latest life sciences to improve care got under way on the opening day of Abu Dhabi Global Healthcare Week (ADGHW) on Monday.

The three-day conference at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre opened with a look at health innovation and how artificial intelligence and emerging technology can vastly improve the way care is delivered.

Industry leaders, experts and government representatives will discuss a wide range of topics, from personalised healthcare to the impact of biotech and how this is beginning to shape a new approach towards more preventive measures.

As more is understood about DNA, genetics and generally why people respond differently to ailments and treatments – personalised care is also set to be discussed.

An evolving sector

More than 5,000 people are expected to attend across the three days, with about 200 speakers lined up to deliver the latest insights in health care.

“The landscape of health care is rapidly evolving, shaped by emerging diseases, societal shifts and breakthroughs in medical sciences,” said Mansoor Al Mansoori, a member of Abu Dhabi Executive Council and chairman of the Department of Health, in his opening address.

“At the heart of this transformation is robust, swift and relentless innovation.

“Our mission here is clear: to foster an environment where researchers, clinicians and health professionals thrive, supported by agile and responsible regulations, state-of-the-art infrastructure and significant investments in medical science.

“In Abu Dhabi, we lead global health innovation and have established a pivotal hub for global medical advancements.”

Age-related disease

Key sessions on the opening day included how to combat age-related disease through the latest advances in cell reprogramming, to extend human lifespan.

Other discussions included how human longevity was set for a period of transformation, thanks to advancements in genomics, regenerative science and geroscience – the study of basic biological elements that contribute to ageing.

The power of stem cells and the role they play in reversing the effects of degenerative disease and the development of personalised drug treatments were also discussed on day one.

“This week is focused on driving collaboration on priority topics and aims to explore the shift from health care to health,” said Dr Noura Al Ghaithi, undersecretary of the Department of Health – Abu Dhabi (DoH).

“It is providing experts with a platform to exchange knowledge and experiences on crucial topics such as ageing populations, non-communicable diseases, mental health and other common challenges, as well as driving a bold conversation on proactive healthcare delivery.

“Centralised around driving impact, through ADGHW we aim to co-design tangible outcomes and transformative initiatives with global players to foster responsible innovation and pave the way for a healthier tomorrow for all.”

Key talks

A Health Leaders Forum welcomed more than 200 ministers and public officials, chief executives, international investors, innovators, heads of multilateral organisations and leading experts across science, health and medicine to focus on how to tackle the changes and challenges of global health.

The insights gained will form a foundation for strategies and a comprehensive plan, outlining the key takeaways and policy recommendations.

The 2024 theme of 'Transforming the Global Health Ecosystem: From Healthcare to Health' illustrates a shift in how societies approach the concept of well-being, reflecting a broader understanding of what constitutes true health and a greater focus on illness prevention.

Abu Dhabi health-tech company M42 was recently established after a unification of G42 Healthcare and Mubadala Health, and is playing a key role in the week’s discussions as foundation partner for the inaugural ADGHW.

“At M42 we are revolutionising global health,” said Hasan Jasem Al Nowais, managing director and group chief executive.

“By leveraging cutting-edge technologies such as genomics and AI, we’re delivering personalised, precise and preventive health solutions that are reshaping health and empowering individuals to manage their own health and well-being.”

Updated: May 13, 2024, 12:34 PM