May 27, 2024

Italy and UAE discuss the digital revolution in the healthcare sector and the ethical use of health data for the public benefit

 Italy and UAE discuss the digital revolution in the healthcare sector and the ethical use of health data for the public benefit

The InnovationTalks of the Italian Trade Agency return to Expo2020 to explore innovative solutions and opportunities of bilateral cooperation for the future of the healthcare system.

Dubai, UAE; 27th January 2022: With a medical devices industry turnover of Euro 17 billion, 4,400 companies and nearly 94,000 professionals, Italy is at the forefront of telemedicine and advanced diagnostic and it’s leading the digital revolution in the healthcare sector.

The transformation of the standard medical practice into high-performance data-driven medicine, the application of Artificial Intelligence in diagnostic and treatment of diseases, the use of data from institutions and companies operating in the healthcare sector were discussed at the 7th Innovation Talk hosted by the Italian Trade Agency (ITA), in cooperation with the Embassy of Italy in the UAE, the Consulate General in Dubai and the Italian Commissioner’s Office of the Italy Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai.

The talk, titled ‘“Artificial intelligence applied to medicine: Italian excellence in telemedicine and telesurgery” took place yesterday, 26th January at the Italy Pavilion’s Amphitheatre at Expo 2020 Dubai.

The Innovation Talk was officially opened by Paolo Glisenti, Commissioner General Italy Pavilion and the panel of experts, moderated by Amedeo Scarpa, Italian Trade Commissioner to the UAE, included Silvio Brusaferro, President, Italian National Institute of Health; Mohammad Abdulqader Al Redha, Director of Health Informatics & Smart Health Department, Dubai Health Authority; Marco Simoni, President, Human Technopole; Giuseppe Italiano, Professor of Computer Science – LUISS University, Rome; Elena Bottinelli, President of Innovation & Digitalization Committee, San Donato Group; Francesco Redivo, Senior Vice President,  G42 Healthcare; Carlo Logli, Chief Global Affairs Officer, Dante Labs; Elena Magalotti, Global Brand Manager Contrast Management & Digital Health, Bracco Imaging; and Francesca Spaggiari, Head of Communications, expert a.i.; H.E. Nicola Lener, Ambassador of Italy to the UAE, also attended the event and shard with the public his closing remarks.

Guest speakers discussed about recent Italian and UAE innovations in the field of strategic management of health data, local policies and regulations, artificial intelligence in diagnostics and analysis of algorithms applied to public health, and shared some case histories of successful applications of AI in the field of medicine

Opening the discussion Giuseppe Italiano, Professor of Computer Science – LUISS University, Rome, illustrated the main applications of Artificial Intelligence in medicine such as robotic medicine, diagnostic, personalized medicine and genomics. In his view doctors will not be replaced by AI but will work together as a team; the research is working toward creating AI that can better dialogue with doctors and support them.

Sharing how emerging AI technologies are changing research in Life Sciencesand can benefit a country from both an economic and social point of view, Marco Simoni, President, Human Technopole, said: “Technology linked to artificial intelligence and machine learning are fundamental in their application to life sciences research and to allow faster and more effective progress in the presence of a lot of data that we have available today thanks to new genomic technologies; they are also fundamental technologies to ensure the sustainability of the Health System which, due to the aging of the population, will be more and more  under pressures and must therefore find solutions that are on the one hand more effective and on the other hand allows a better life to the people who are getting older.”

Elena Bottinelli, President of Innovation & Digitalization Committee, San Donato Group, the leading Italian private hospital group, illustrated the role of hospitals in the digital revolution and all the related challenges: “At the moment skills and knowledge are lacking and therefore from an education point of view we must govern this procedure and aim training people so they are ready for this transformation”.

Mohammad Abdulqader Al Redha, Director of Health Informatics & Smart Health Department, Dubai Health Authority, talked about DHA’s recent investments in technology and the implementation of telemedicine in Dubai.

Highlighting both the individual and public benefits of genomics, Carlo Logli, Chief Global Affairs Officer, Dante Labs, a genomic sequencing center in UAE, said: “TheUAE genomics programme allow the health system to know better the population and to focus on what is necessary avoiding waste of public funds.”

During the second part of the round table were presented some examples of how the traditional healthcare ecosystem is evolving from reactive medicine to personalised and preventive medicine by harnessing data and advanced medical technologies.

Francesco Redivo, from G42 Healthcare, illustrated how the UAE is investing in this field and has launched the world’s first dedicated program to study the Arab genome, the Emirati Genome Program (EGP). This initiative is a strategic partnership between the Department of Health, Abu Dhabi (DoH), and G42 Healthcare to understand the genomic make-up of the Emirati population and support the UAE’s futuristic and preventive healthcare vision.

“The shared vision of a personalized medicine is driving the expansion of Health Informatics. Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology applied to Diagnostic Imaging offers a unique opportunity to generate high-value services for both clinical professionals and their patients. The big challenge in the future of Life Sciences will be to transform a curative medicine into a predictive, preventive, personalized and participated medicine.” concluded Elena Magalotti, Global Brand Manager Contrast Management & Digital Health, Bracco Imaging.

The Innovation Talks are a platform to foster the dialogue between Italy and UAE initiated by the Embassy of Italy to the UAE last year with InnovItaly and that will continue after Expo2020. Each talk feature highly-regarded personalities from both Italy and the UAE invited to discuss issues related to Expo 2020 Dubai’s weekly themes and the trade fairs ITA is participating in around the Emirates.

To watch the registration of the Innovation Talks, please visit the official YouTube channel of

Italy Expo 2020: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t_Vw9VyTd9w For latest news and updates, please follow @ITAdubai on Twitter, @ITAdubai on Instagram, ITA – Dubai Office on LinkedIn, and Italian Trade Agency on YouTube.