By World Healthcare Journal-
As a consequence of falling oil prices, diversification of the economy has remained a priority for governments across the GCC in recent years. Also, the expanding and ageing population, high prevalence of noncommunicable diseases, rising cost of treatment and increasing penetration of health insurance are some of the key factors spurring on the growth of the healthcare market in the region.
According to a 2018 GCC Healthcare Industry Report by Alpen Capital, the current healthcare expenditure (CHE) in the GCC is projected to reach US$ 104.6bn in 2022 from an estimated US$ 76.1bn in 2017, implying a CAGR of 6.6 per cent.
Meanwhile, in view of the anticipated rise in the number of patients, the GCC may require a collective bed capacity of 118,295 by 2022, indicating a demand for 12,358 new beds. This demand is being mitigated by the 700 healthcare projects worth US$ 60.9 bn under various stages of development.
Driving the healthcare industry
With the demand for healthcare products and services continuing to increase within the region, the Arab Health Exhibition & Congress has once again proved its credentials as a must-visit exhibition for anyone associated with the industry - not only in the Middle East but also across the globe.
As the largest gathering of healthcare product manufacturers, service providers and trade professionals in the MENA region, Arab Health is gearing up to welcome more than 84,500 attendees from over 160 countries in January 2019 for the 44th edition of the show.
Taking place from 28 - 31 January at the Dubai World Trade Centre, the show is the perfect opportunity for trade and healthcare professionals to stay abreast of the industry’s latest trends and advancements and engage with more than 4,150 companies from 66 countries that will be showcasing the latest healthcare technology, products and services. With 39 dedicated country pavilions, international representation at the show remains robust with many pavilions increasing in size and number of exhibiting companies Y.o.Y.
While evaluating the latest competing solutions in healthcare across all product categories, visitors can also connect with new suppliers, business partners and customers and gain new ideas to advance and grow their business.
Deals to be done
Manufacturers of medical devices and service providers use Arab Health as an opportunity to showcase their latest products to the MENA region’s healthcare industry. Companies vary from large organisations such as Siemens and Philips to smaller business houses exhibiting for the first time. With thousands of products on display, business deals occur every minute of the show. In fact, a number of regional ‘firsts’ were announced at the 2018 edition of the show and millions of dollars of contracts are negotiated and signed during the four-day industry showcase.
One example was GE Healthcare’s announcement that it would deliver advanced diagnostic technology to fully equip the radiology department of King’s College Hospital London in the UAE, which is set to open in Q1 2019. Another was British healthcare technology company Babylon announcing an agreement with THIQAH to provide Artificial Intelligence health services to Saudi Arabia, in association with the Saudi Ministry of Health.
Other marquee deals signed during the event included a health IT strategic partnership between Al Jalila Children's Specialty Hospital and the Children's National Health, while Fakeeh Care signed an agreement with Emitac Healthcare Solutions to provide advanced turnkey healthcare solutions to its Fakeeh University Hospital project being developed at Dubai Silicon Oasis.
For professionals who are tasked with purchasing and procurement responsibilities for healthcare facilities, educational providers and medical specialty associations, Arab Health is the ideal platform to get ahead of the upcoming year’s product needs.
Arab Health also provides a beneficial experience for all dealer and distributor job functions — from senior management of larger organisations that are looking to connect with key industry players, sales and business development professionals tasked with expanding their product portfolios to entrepreneurs hoping to source the next ‘big product’ to supply in their country.
The digital exhibition
Attendees can utilise Omnia 360 – an all-encompassing digital platform and global medical directory as a real-time tool to explore the exhibitors and product on show at Arab Health. With the listed companies updating their information throughout the year, visitors can watch product demonstration videos, view PDFs and brochures, download catalogues as well as interact with multiple companies on the portal.
Apart from being able to connect with the exhibitors before, during and after the show, visitors can create a wish list of companies and products of interest and download these interactive tools to personal devices for future reference and planning. Through Omnia360, listed companies get genuine business enquiries and visitor information, while visitors are able to make informed decisions even off the exhibition floor.
All eyes on innovation
Innovation is driving the healthcare industry forward and advances in technologies are creating vast new possibilities and opportunities for the UAE healthcare sector. Healthcare facilities, medical device manufacturers and service providers across the globe are constantly innovating to remain competitive and offer new and improved treatments to patients. In line with this, Arab Health 2019 will introduce a dedicated Innovation Hub to highlight some of these technological advances and innovations.
The Innovation Hub will feature the Innovation Showcase allowing visitors to explore cutting-edge healthcare technology including AI, disease management and home care devices, mobile device accessories, telemedicine platforms, to name a few.
The Innovation Hub will also be the platform for the inaugural Innov8 Talks at Arab Health. As well as daily free-to-attend talks with discussions led by keynote speakers, the Innov8 Talks will also host a series of Pitch sessions for the region’s most creative and forward-thinking healthcare start-ups and SMEs to sell their ideas to an esteemed panel of judges that are involved in driving innovation in the UAE.
Education the Arab Health way
Accompanying the exhibition is a number of business, leadership and Continuing Medical Education (CME) conferences and workshops. With the aim of bridging the gap in medical knowledge, the carefully designed Congress provides the very latest updates and insights into cutting-edge procedures, techniques and skills. With 11 conferences, Arab Health Congress is one of the largest CME accredited multi-track medical conference in the world. More than 4,500 delegates and 400 international and regional speakers will be welcomed over the four days of the congress.
By running conferences that are led by internationally acclaimed speakers, medical practitioners get to learn about topical healthcare issues and how to approach them in their daily practice. Additionally, through the exhibition, healthcare organisations have the opportunity to explore the latest technologies that may be integrated into their current or future facilities. Both aspects, the conference and the exhibition, bring together global leaders in the healthcare industry to exchange ideas and discuss advancements in the field, which may then be applied to benefit the patient.
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