MENA’s Health-tech Sector Now Worth Over US$1.5 billion
International Start-ups Head to Dubai’s EMERGE GHI On Investment Hunt
Dubai: The Middle East’s first Precision Medicine Exhibition & Summit, co-located with EMERGE Gulf Health Innovation forum, opened today with a two-day run at the Conrad Hotel Dubai, with thought leaders and medical pioneers from Asia, the Middle East, Europe, and the USA coming together to unearth new opportunities in the digital technology driven precision medicine (PM) field.
Held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Cabinet Member and Minister of State for Tolerance of UAE & President of UAE Genetic Diseases Association. Over 100 global biotech and healthtech entrepreneurs are heading to Dubai to drum up investment for their ground-breaking startups, which they believe will lower medicare costs, cut hospitalisation demand, reduce patient burden, and improve quality of life.
EMERGE GHI is bringing together healthcare innovators and investors in over 300 hours of networking opportunities and help dynamic entrepreneurs access a high concentration of capital and knowledge from global success-makers including representatives of some of the region’s biggest names including, Plug & Play, Hikma Ventures and the Kuwait Life Sciences Company.
The event comes as the global startup and venture capital intelligence platform Dealroom.co, identifies health-tech as the Middle East and North Africa’s (MENA) highest growth vertical by combined enterprise value since 2016 making the Dubai event a right forum at the right time.
“The health-tech startup ecosystem in the MENA region is now worth over US$1.5B, which is a 22-fold increase since 2016,” explained David Stradling, Event Director. “Healthtech startups in the region are taking off, with more than US$200 million in venture capital funding received since 2016. Annual investments in healthcare digital infrastructure in the GCC alone are expected to increase from US$0.5B to US$1.2B in the next two years, a 10% to 20% rise compared with the previous years of 3% to 4%.
“Over the next ten years, virtual care, remote patient monitoring, and artificial intelligence will account for 30% of hospital investments in the region. Much of this activity will be driven by private players. This is a significant opportunity for startups as it is necessary to incorporate digital solutions in hospitals to optimise outcome and workforce.
“With the emergence of the pandemic accelerating the pace of innovation, there has never been a greater sense of urgency and need for a new platform to drive healthcare progress. Domestic and foreign investors are striving hard to push health-tech in the MENA region, raising US$930M in dedicated funds since 2020 and this is just the start. EMERGE GHI will lead the way in bridging this future healthcare need.”
With dynamic innovators from across the world making the trip to Dubai, EMERGE GHI will provide participants with deep insights into the future of healthcare. The USA’s BioSapien Inc. aims to seek partners for its 3D-printed biodegradable implantable mesh intended to deliver FDA-approved drugs directly to cancerous cells with the aim of reducing harmful side-effects and costs. CEO and Founder Khatija Ali believes the UAE holds out partner opportunities for biotech breakthroughs and expects its MediChip to resonate with investors.
“The current treatment modalities for cancer do not match the capabilities of today’s technologies. There is a need to rethink how we deliver cancer care, and potentially other drugs. We are starting with local chemotherapy, in a manner that prevents dose-limiting toxicities. This is no small task, and we want to find big thinkers who see this bigger picture. Ultimately, we are looking for funding commitments for a successful Series A launch that will help bring our technology one step closer to patients,” said Ali.
“The UAE is a global leader in entrepreneurship and innovation currently ranking fourth globally in the Global Entrepreneurship Index 2020 – a reflection of the dedication to growth and improvement. The UAE provides a flourishing ecosystem of entrepreneurship. There are still many opportunities for growth and in the wider markets, regionally and internationally, there exist significant opportunities, especially in the field of biotechnology. Strong efforts on the entrepreneurial front will continue to push boundaries to keep up with the pace of technological advancements. These advancements will spur further growth and greater opportunities for others.”
Also hoping the UAE will produce seed investors and potential partners for, is Germany’s RobotDreams® Gmb which is developing an AI-based software for the diagnosis of cardiovascular diseases using blood tests within seconds which has been successfully tested and honored with the ‘German Excellence Award 2020″.
“The current landscape in the UAE is extremely emerging and highly innovative as the funds for world changing and disruptive technologies and ventures exist.” said Ulrich Weigelt, the company’s CEO.
India’s Medjacket Private Limited will be demonstrating its recently developed E-ICUT designed to reduce patient management costs and address shortfalls in patient-to-doctor ratio issues by managing multiple patients through one hub-and-spoke nursing station and enabling virtual bidirectional communication between care providers for timely action.
“We want to raise awareness of this virtual patient management, which is needed in present times. It means a patient can be treated virtually with the appropriate technology and infrastructure thereby largely safeguarding patients from virus infections in hospitals,” explained the company’s CEO, Ram Karri. “This technology is very affordable for all hospital facilities and addresses all the issues from the gate of entry of the hospital facility to the discharge.”
EMERGE GHI is co-located alongside the PrecisionMed Exhibition & Summit – the Middle East’s inaugural and only dedicated exhibition and summit devoted to the digital technology driven precision medicine (PM) field. The event will feature over 70 international experts, thought leaders and medical pioneers from Asia, the Middle East, Europe, and the USA, to deliver incisive insights into the new methodology which is moving healthcare from a ‘one size fits all’ approach to a targeted, personalized, approach.