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Mohamed bin Zayed University of Artificial Intelligence

5 ways AI is breaking barriers and boosting access to healthcare

ABU DHABI, April 4, 2024

Artificial intelligence (AI) could play a key role in extending health services to underserved and vulnerable communities, by revolutionising prevention and diagnosis, and helping develop bespoke medicines while expanding access to care.
 
With the costs of healthcare coverage continuing to rise and environmental issues such as climate change and air pollution exacerbating community health issues, millions of people around the world don’t have access to the medical services and support they need. To raise awareness of these challenges – the theme for World Health Day (April 7) this year is 'My health, my right’ – and Mohamed bin Zayed University of Artificial Intelligence (MBZUAI) is engaged in key research areas it hopes will provide real world solutions.
 
Tackling Malaria
Malaria is one of the oldest and deadliest diseases, and its impact is being exacerbated by warming temperatures caused by climate change. Supported by the Reaching the Last Mile initiative, a team of scientists at MBZUAI is developing AI-powered applications to help physicians and public health officials in Indonesia reduce the impact of malaria on the country’s population of 270 million. 
 
The applications being developed perform sensory data fusion, a process that combines data from a variety of sensors to generate a virtual representation of the environment in the form of a ‘digital twin.’ This approach provides precise weather forecasting and generates a near real-time representation of the environment, providing officials with detailed information about where malaria outbreaks may occur, and helping authorities to prevent the spread of the disease.
 
Predictive healthcare
AI-enabled predictive healthcare anticipates medical issues before they arise, enabling proactive interventions and personalised treatment. By analysing vast datasets and identifying patterns, it enhances preventive care, reduces hospitalisations, and ultimately saves lives. A research team at MBZUAI is using machine learning and computer vision to identify cardiovascular disease from CT scans. The team is collaborating with the University of Oxford on a comprehensive study to identify biomarkers indicating potential heart problems before symptoms show. This AI system aims to assist clinicians by swiftly analysing scans and highlighting areas that need attention. When integrated with portable ultrasound scanning devices, this service has the potential to provide millions of people with initial cardiovascular assessments worldwide.
 
Remote patient monitoring 
AI in remote patient monitoring utilises sensors and algorithms to track vital signs and health metrics from a distance, offering real-time insights into patient well-being. This technology enables proactive interventions, reduces hospital re-admissions, and enhances overall healthcare efficiency, particularly for patients with chronic conditions or those in remote areas. 
 
These tools can be applied to monitor the health and safety of older people and provide them support to remain in their homes. Remote patient monitoring and assistance systems could integrate several types of smart wearable devices to monitor pulse and temperature, position, and location.
 
Accelerating drug development
Currently, around 90% of clinical trials for new medications end in failure, which is why Quris-AI, the world’s first Bio-AI clinical-prediction platform ensuring the safety and efficacy of new drugs, and MBZUAI, signed an agreement in 2023 to develop a world-class Bio-AI center of excellence in Abu Dhabi. The center will accelerate the development of safer, and more highly personalised medications tailored specifically to the diverse populations of the Mena region. MBZUAI is providing expertise in the development of predictive AI models, while incentivising sought-after AI graduates to stay in the UAE as they begin their careers.
 
Personalised treatments
AI is revolutionising personalised medical treatments by analysing vast patient data to tailor interventions while accelerating the discovery and creation of new drugs. From genomic profiling for precise cancer therapies to predicting drug responses based on individual characteristics, AI optimises treatment plans for each patient’s unique biology. By harnessing AI’s analytical power, healthcare providers can deliver targeted therapies that address patients’ specific needs. MBZUAI is working on numerous areas aimed at making treatments more personalised and effective, through genome mapping and partnerships to bring the power of AI to drug discovery and development. Last year, MBZUAI signed a partnership with BioMap, an AI model-powered life science platform, focusing on creating breakthroughs in AI generated proteins (AIGP) to provide more tailored treatments in the Middle East.--TradeArabia News Service
 



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