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Smart Data Forum Health Roadshow to Qatar
Smart Data Forum with the support of the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) organized a roadshow to the emirate of Qatar from 11-14 November. The goal of this trip was to identify potential cooperation between current research and innovation programs in both countries with a particular focus on digital health and the use of AI in health sector.
The delegation consisted of project representatives of the BMWi’s technology programs Smart Data, Smart Service Welt, representatives of the BMBF funded projects PREDICTioN 2020 and Analyze Genomes and two award-winning start-ups in E-health.
Qatar is a potentially interesting partner for German health sector for several reasons. With about half the size of Hessen, Qatar has one of the highest GDP per capita in the world and it faces enormous challenges to implement necessary economic structural change. Last September in the joint German-Qatar Economic Forum in Berlin, Qatar’s Emir Tamim bin Hamad al Thani announced that the country will invest €10 billion in Germany’s SMEs. Within the same context, the CEO of the Qatar Investment Authority named AI and health as one of the priorities of Qatar’s international investment in the coming years. Among other things, the Qatar Foundation co-organized the World Innovation Summit on Health 2018 (WISH) on 13 and 14 November, which brought together over 2000 experts from the health. On the other hand, with the publication of the Qatar National Health Strategy 2018-2022, the country has given a clear impulse that the further development of the health care system is a decisive priority, given the serious health-related challenges due to high rates of obesity and diabetics in Qatar’s population.
The meetings with experts from key research centers and institutions like Hamad Medical Corporation, the Qatar Genome Program and the Qatar Biobank, and attending the WISH 2018 as well as political decision-makers provided an excellent opportunity to discuss the progress and potentials in the field of health and Big Data in Qatar and Germany. The exchange with the various stakeholders enabled the delegation to get an idea of the state of research in the Qatari health care system. In all contexts it was noticeable that there is a great interest in knowledge exchange in Qatar and that financial restrictions appear to be of secondary importance. In particular, the Qatar Foundation National Fund (QFNF) plays a major role in providing financial support for research and development efforts for the international collaborations.
The delegation trip has clearly shown that massive investments have been and continue to be made in the health sector. Last year the public hospital operator Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) opened three contiguous hospitals. The Women’s Wellness Research Center, the Qatar Rehabilitation Institute and the Ambulatory Care Center are equipped with impressively modern technology and the digitization of hospital records is well advanced, enabling more efficient treatments. Hospital management is particularly concerned with increasing patient satisfaction and for this purpose has, among other things, set up a customer contact call center that reminds patients of appointments and takes care of them after treatment.
First ideas collaboration was discussed between the HPI’s Analyze Genomes and the Qatar Genome program, which included cooperation on the levels of research and development.
Over the coming months, discussion for the proposed initiatives and joint research projects will be intensified.
The preparation and organization of the Roadshow was outstanding. Everything was planned to the smallest detail and there was the possibility to reach out to the organizers at any given time. The agenda took aspects and interests of every participant into account and left some valuable time for individual appointments as well as networking.Mario BechererLARALAB / CFO and Co-Founder
I liked the variety of partners we met, the opportunity to join WISH summit and the exchange with all experts. We had the opportunity to visit HMC experts twice, whereas in the second meeting they were able to share about what they are doing and what they are focussing on.Dr. Matthieu Schapranow Hasso Plattner Institute / Scientific Manager of Digital Health Innovations
Given the location of the Roadshow, I think the partners and topics were perfectly chosen. During a very short time I had the feeling of having had the opportunity of making my point, being able to present our innovation and having the possibility of having productive conversations about that. The partners were high representatives of each institution we have been to, so the meetings were also very efficient.Peyman KhaljaniHygNova / International Business Development