Healthcare features heavily in a new report from Mohammed Bin Rashid Centre for Government Innovation and Sia Partners, identifying the region’s 25 most noteworthy innovations.

The report arose from the UAE’s desire to showcase its innovation power globally, highlighting how the region is best practices across a number of sectors. Amongst broader technological advancements, such as developments in solar power, computing, and forensics, healthcare shines through.

For example, one standout innovation centres on 3D Printing for congenital heart anomalies combining cutting-edge medical imaging technologies and emerging techniques of 3D design and printing, this project provides examples and guidance that can be applied across other medical fields, potentially transform the way surgery will be performed in the future. The approach supports advances in individualized medicine and surgery providing surgical solutions drawn from 3D models opening treatment options to patients that would otherwise be impossible. In congenital cardiac surgery, 3D models allow a better understanding of complex anatomy, and an option of a preoperative hands-on simulation to facilitate better planning for surgery and enhancing communication for all involved.

Another healthcare example is the Smart Rehab Lab (Robotic Therapy Laboratory – the first integrated project in the Middle East, and involving 11 robotic devices taking the responsibility for providing most of the rehabilitation services. The lab can serve over 100 clients across a range of age groups, and provides physiotherapy and occupational therapy using high tech, AI and robots. It can provide the required rehabilitation exercises using the support of VR and games. Movement is tracked by wearable devices that synchronise with computing systems that use AI to adjust the training in real time based on responsiveness of the patients.

Assessed using a range of criteria, such as novelty, replicability and impact, these innovations showcase only a fraction of the innovative opportunities arising in the UAE.