Dubai fosters health-tech innovation for local, global healthcare needs

UAE government initiatives have cultivated startups that are tapping telemedicine, blockchain, AI and mobile technology for healthcare

Nurtured by government-led initiatives, health-tech companies have become a driver of Dubai’s healthcare sector, an important component of the emirate's economy and have helped make the UAE a leader in advancing healthcare technology in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA).

Globally, despite the slowdown in growth that some areas of the IT sector have experienced over recent years, investment in health tech is on the rise. In 2018, 186 healthcare companies went public worldwide, bringing the combined IPO proceeds for the year to US$24 billion, up from $15 billion in 2017.  

A number of established companies, like Samsung and Amazon, are starting to make moves into the health-tech sector – Amazon, for example, bought online pharmacy service PillPack for $1 billion in 2018.  The rapid development of emerging health technology and a jump in the number of related startups, though, are the biggest signals that the industry is flourishing.

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