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Abu Dhabi health officials embrace artificial intelligence to assess impact of Covid-19

Abu Dhabi health chiefs will harness artificial intelligence to examine the long-term impact of Covid-19 on residents.

The emirate’s public health provider, Seha, signed an agreement with Abu Dhabi’s Mohamed bin Zayed University of Artificial Intelligence to integrate the rapidly-developing technology into medical care.

Under the partnership, Seha clinicians will work alongside the university faculty to develop AI-driven solutions for major healthcare challenges, such as the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

The teams will assess the effects of infection for people in the Emirates, particularly those with pre-existing conditions such as heart, liver, or kidney diseases.

Hi-tech tools will also be deployed to measure the severity of coronavirus infections by examining a patient’s lung lobes, allowing physicians to identify those at most risk of developing further complications.

“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,” said Dr Gareth Goodier, group chief executive of Seha.

“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.”

Professor Eric Xing, president of Mohamed bin Zayed University of Artificial Intelligence in Masdar City, Abu Dhabi. Khushnum Bhandari for The National
Professor Eric Xing, president of Mohamed bin Zayed University of Artificial Intelligence in Masdar City, Abu Dhabi. Khushnum Bhandari for The National

MBZUAI, the world’s first dedicated AI university, was established in 2019 and selected its first students this year.

The class of 2021 was chosen from thousands of applications received from almost 100 countries.

The university, based in Masdar City, offers MSc and PhD programmes in the fields of computer vision, machine learning and natural language processing.

“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,” said Prof Eric Xing, president of MBZUAI.

“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.”

Published: March 1, 2021 05:04 PM

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