The Future of Emirati Innovation in Healthcare

By Atif Al Braiki, Chief Executive Officer, Malaffi
28 February 2021

This week we are marking UAE Innovation Month and celebrating a Golden Jubilee of innovation - 50 years of Imagination, 50 years of Inspiration and 50 years of Inclusion.

This month, the UAE became the fifth country in the world to send a spacecraft to Mars. Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, said the bright young Emiratis who led the mission were "part of a generation that makes us proud" and as an Emirati working in the technology space myself, I am immensely proud of their achievement. It is also a recognition and reminder of the previous generation of exceptional UAE innovators; those who also encouraged and mentored me at the beginning of my career, as well as an anticipation of what we can all ultimately achieve together in the future, with the support of our wise leadership.

I've spent my career working in computer science, exploring how IT can be applied to improve efficiency, safety, collaboration and more. When I consider what drives me personally, it's the nature of the problem I have to solve – how meaningful is it, and what the human connection is. I've been lucky enough throughout my career to be challenged and guided by colleagues, whose advice and encouragement helped open doors that led me into the domain of healthcare information technology.

Technology adoption has been swift in many industries, from oil and gas to banking, but the complexities within healthcare -from the extensive stakeholder network to fragmented operational structures- have meant that the healthcare industry is often lagging behind. Yet I feel fortunate that in Abu Dhabi, the Department of Health recognized the value of technology early on and moved fast in adopting the latest digital technologies.

With platforms like Malaffi, which acts as a digital link between electronic medical records from different healthcare facilities, we can start to shift not only the way healthcare is delivered at the point of care, but even managed at a population level. Building on bigger and better datasets using artificial intelligence means that we can not only understand the conditions that people are dealing with but start to make evidence-based predictions about their risks in the future. This will help us with everything from capacity planning to direct communications with specific patients. We can enhance coordination of care and ultimately move toward a more value-based and preventative system in which doctors and healthcare professionals are incentivized to keep people out of hospitals. To help achieve this goal, it is important to put in place solid adoption strategies and defined value chains with outstanding user experiences to ensure that the new technologies are used to their full advantage.

In this day and age, an innovative mindset is always an expectation, where new ideas and visions can materialize into greater realms of technological advancements. Malaffi is proud to have a great team who innovates to solve challenging situations, as well as high caliber Emirati graduates in our areas of operations, development and security. We look forward to having more exceptional talent in this domain and be able to always contribute to the advancement of our great nation.

I encourage all young Emiratis to look at the past and recent achievements of our country and know they each have an important role to play in our future.

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