The Department of Health – Abu Dhabi (DoH) is hosting DoH Innovation Week 2023, in conjunction with the UAE’s Innovation Month. The event, taking place at the department’s headquarters, includes the participation of several entities from the Abu Dhabi healthcare ecosystem and provides participants with many activities and applications of innovation within the healthcare sector, including startups and the Abu Dhabi Life Sciences Hub in the metaverse.

His Excellency Dr. Jamal Mohammad Al Kaabi, Undersecretary of the DoH, said: “Under the directives of our wise leadership, the UAE unifies its efforts this time every year to accelerate innovation across all levels and industries, stemming from our belief in its importance as the engine that drives success, whether it is for public entities, the private sector, or members of our community. At DoH, we realise the importance of applying innovative solutions and creative spirits in the healthcare workforce, to further enhance the sector’s outputs and the quality and sustainability of its services, cementing Abu Dhabi’s position as a leading destination for innovation in healthcare and life sciences.

“As the emirate’s healthcare regulator, we are working closely with local and international partners to develop and integrate breakthrough solutions in Abu Dhabi, which has become a beacon of innovation, combining leading companies, startups and entrepreneurs from all over the world, while encouraging entrepreneurs to expand their scope of work and their innovations in a supportive and nurturing environment. This comes in line with Abu Dhabi’s effort to find solutions for current and future healthcare challenges, enhancing the health of members of our community and across the globe.”

The event has several engaging activities, such as Park to Innovate in which participants can suggest their thoughts on how to continue the development of the healthcare system in Abu Dhabi. Additionally, the Innovation Café allows visitors to attend a series of discussions on creativity and innovation. Meanwhile, the Gamification Corner provides participants with the ability to immerse themselves in the virtual world of the metaverse, along with different games and activities. Finally, the Innovation Sprint encourages participants to adopt an innovative spirit and a mindset that actively seeks change rather than waiting to adapt to change.

Innovation Week 2023 will also include a series of panel discussions and workshops that tap into the different areas of innovation, such as supporting entrepreneurs in a panel titled Lessons from a Physician Turned Entrepreneur, and Turning Research into Innovation, and several activities that include design thinking, artificial intelligence and the National Innovation Strategy.

The four-day event will exhibit six startups representing the Abu Dhabi healthcare ecosystem. The startups include DentalID which is a dental identification app with a cloud-based odontology automated assessment tool, in addition to AirQ which is an engineering firm specializing in the design and development of Unmanned Aerial Systems. Participating in DoH’s Innovation Week 2023 is also Housecall which is a technology-enabled primary care practice on a mission to provide better care that is easily accessible both in-person and virtually, along with DarDoc which brings healthcare services to the doorstep of patients, through a mobile application. Other participating start-ups are Takalam (Arabic for speak) is an award-winning UAE based online counselling platform for mental well-being, and Exsurgo which is a neuroscience company, specializing in treating and diagnosing chronic pain and associated complications such as anxiety, depression and insomnia with their device, Axon.

Notably, DoH continues to extend support to start-ups throughout the different development phases, from ideation to introduction and scaling to international markets. The department is currently extending support to over 60 licensed start-ups and in communication with over 300 start-up companies worldwide.

Meanwhile, the Department of Health – Abu Dhabi has recently launched the Abu Dhabi Life Sciences Hub in the metaverse, which seeks to group start-ups, investors, and healthcare providers in the same virtual space, to exchange knowledge and experiences. The virtual hub has witnessed the inauguration of DoH’s virtual headquarters in the metaverse, as it has presented the opportunity for other healthcare entities to develop their own virtual experiences, seeking to establish an easily accessible platform for telemedicine.

DoH Innovation Week 2023 takes place until 24 February, in collaboration with different stakeholders from Abu Dhabi’s healthcare ecosystem, and several partners from public and private entities in Abu Dhabi and the UAE.