Abu Dhabi health department issues region's first AI controls

Healthcare providers, drug producers, researchers and insurers must now comply to new artificial intelligence policy in Abu Dhabi

New policy on the use of artificial intelligence's role in healthcare is being implemented in Abu Dhabi. Kiyoshi Ota / Bloomberg

Controls are being placed on the rise of the robots in new artificial intelligence policy laid out by the Department of Health.

All healthcare providers, drug producers, researchers and insurers must now comply with new artificial intelligence regulations and guidance issued by government regulators.

Department of Health Abu Dhabi is the region’s first entity to develop this kind of technology policy in the healthcare sector.

The move is said to be essential as artificial intelligence begins to dominate fast-paced technological innovations in the industry.

"The true path to the development of the emirate's healthcare systems and services is through artificial intelligence," said Mohamed Al Hameli, acting undersecretary of Department of Health, Abu Dhabi.

“With the policy on the use of artificial intelligence, we will not only provide the best of quality healthcare services to our people by using the best international practices and technologies, but will cement Abu Dhabi’s standing on the global artificial intelligence map.”

In Dubai, most of the latest intake of innovations trialled under the Dubai Future Accelerator Programme have AI or machine learning at their core.

In health care, it can play a central role in improving evidence-based quality of care, efficiency, effectiveness, safety, access and delivery of healthcare services.

It is also becoming crucial to develop all types of population and patient research.

AI is set to boost the UAE economy by $182 billion (Dh668.5bn) by 2035, according to a report by global consulting services firm Accenture, with finance the biggest beneficiary – closely followed by the health care, transport and storage industries.


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The new policy applies to all DOH-licensed healthcare providers, pharmaceutical manufacturers based in Abu Dhabi, healthcare insurers and licensed healthcare researchers involved in human subject research.

Any healthcare companies using Abu Dhabi population data in AI also must comply.

More details can be found in the text of the policy: haad.ae\AI