423 – Arab Health 2024 Feature Episode

Talking HealthTech

423 – Arab Health 2024 Feature Episode

March 21, 2024

423 – Arab Health 2024 Feature Episode

In this special feature episode of Talking HealthTech, host Peter Birch takes us to Dubai, United Arab Emirates, for an in-depth discussion at the Arab Health 2024 event. 

Joined by key thought leaders and experts, including Mazin Gadir, Ahmed Banna, Dr. Meshari F. Alwashimi, Thom Soutter, Hinda Daggag, Louiza Chitour, and Marwan Abdulaziz, this episode delves into the pressing challenges and emerging opportunities within the healthcare innovation space in the UAE, Saudi Arabia, and the broader GCC region. This knowledgeable panel covers a wide range of topics, from the importance of genomics and personalised medicine, regulatory changes fostering innovation, to the sophistication of the startup ecosystem and the cultural considerations when expanding into the region.

Key Takeaways:

  • The GCC region is tackling healthcare challenges presented by a young and soon-to-be ageing population, indicating the need for personalised care and genomics.
  • Trust, relationships, and understanding local culture are crucial when expanding health tech innovations into the Middle East.
  • Both UAE and Saudi Arabia are embracing digital health initiatives, particularly in diabetes management and the application of AI.
  • Regional trends indicate a shift from digitised health systems to smart healthcare solutions that incorporate AI and locally generated research.
  • The startup scene in the MENA region reflects a global mindset, boosted by sovereign wealth funds and VC interest


  • [00:02:12] Louiza Chitour on the evolving startup ecosystem and the future of healthcare innovation in UAE.
  • [00:13:10] Dr. Meshari F. Alwashimi on the digital health approaches to diabetes in Saudi Arabia
  • [00:21:54] Thom Soutter‘s insights on the significance of relationship-building for Australian businesses in the region.
  • [00:30:57] Marwan Abdulaziz discusses the strategic expansion of Dubai Science Park.
  • [00:48:11] Regional trends and the response to COVID-19 and future healthcare innovations with Hinda Daggag.
  • [00:59:00] Discussing the demographic challenges and opportunities in the GCC with Mazin Gadir.
  • [01:12:27] Ahmed Banna on commonalities in healthcare systems across different Middle Eastern countries.

Check out the episode and full show notes on the Talking HealthTech website.

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