UAE Implements new Medical Tech to Slash Diagnosis Time from 3 Years to 1 Day

Omar Abbas - | Arab

The potential benefits of incorporating genomic medicine and AI into healthcare delivery extend far beyond the UAE, providing prospects for enhanced precision in diagnoses and individualized therapeutic approaches.

Revolutionizing Diagnosis with Cutting-Edge Technologies

In the UAE, cutting-edge technologies like genomic medicine combined with artificial intelligence (AI) are revolutionizing the diagnosis process for rare diseases, significantly reducing the time it takes to identify them. According to experts in the field, such advancements hold immense potential for transforming healthcare.

Dr. Imane Boudellioua, a prominent researcher at the Technology Innovation Institute in Abu Dhabi, highlighted the impact of these technologies based on her experience. She recounted a project involving 19 patients afflicted with congenital hypothyroidism, an exceptionally rare genetic disorder. Traditionally, diagnosing such conditions could take up to three years due to the complexities of analyzing DNA sequences. However, by harnessing the power of AI and integrating data from various sources, the diagnosis time was drastically reduced to just one day.

Speaking at a panel discussion on precision medicine and preventive health innovation held at the University of Birmingham in Dubai, Dr. Imane emphasized the promising future of medicine driven by AI. She envisioned a scenario where medical treatments could be tailored to individuals based on their unique genetic makeup, leading to more effective and personalized care.

Dr. Mohammed Uddin, an Associate Professor of Human Genetics, echoed Dr. Imane's sentiments, emphasizing the importance of converging technologies like AI and genomic medicine. By leveraging machine learning algorithms, researchers can decipher how genetic mutations impact protein structures, paving the way for personalized medication tailored to each patient's specific needs.

Transforming Treatment Approaches

Illustrating the transformative potential of AI, Dr. Ahmad Abou Tayoun, Director of Al Jalila Genomics Center, highlighted a breakthrough in 2020 where AI was instrumental in discovering a new class of antibiotics capable of combating drug-resistant bacteria like MRSA. This development signifies a paradigm shift from using AI for recreational purposes to harnessing its power to save lives and cure diseases.

However, despite the remarkable progress, several challenges confront the widespread adoption of precision medicine. Major Dr. Mohamed Al Marri, Director of the Genome Center at Dubai Police, pointed out the infrastructure limitations, particularly the lack of adequate IT systems to store vast amounts of genomic data efficiently. Additionally, concerns regarding patient confidentiality and data privacy in genomic sequencing further complicate the landscape, necessitating the development of robust regulations to safeguard patient rights while facilitating medical advancements.

The convergence of genomic medicine and AI presents unprecedented opportunities to revolutionize healthcare in the UAE and beyond. By addressing challenges and fostering collaboration across disciplines, stakeholders can harness these technologies to deliver more accurate diagnoses, personalized treatments, and ultimately, improved patient outcomes.

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Omar Abbas
Omar Abbas
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