Arab Health 2008 review

Exhibition’s dramatic growth reflects region’s development

This year’s Arab Health exhibition, the region’s largest medical show, was the scene of many product launches and business announcements. Middle East Health reports on some of the key events that took place during the show.

Arab Health, the region’s largest medical exhibition, was held in Dubai in January and inaugurated by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Prime Minister and Vice President of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. More than 2,300 exhibitors representing more than 65 countries showed off a wide variety of products ranging from innovative face masks to revolutionary radiological equipment and fully equipped ambulances to state-of-the-art medical institutions.

Over the past five years the exhibition has grown spectacularly, reflecting the region’s fast expanding healthcare developments and is now so large that every available space is taken up by exhibitors, including that of the concourse at Dubai’s expansive International Exhibition Center.

It is an extremely busy event, with an estimated 50,000 visitors being introduced to new products and discussing business. Many medical companies use the show to announce the launch of new innovations or partnerships. And most did what they could to grab the attention of visitors in this highly competitive market. Philips and Dubai Healthcare City, for example, set up a mobile health centre to offer quick and easy health check-ups in an effort to demonstrate just how simple and quick a health check can be.

The Arab Health Congress, an increasingly important dimension of this impressive show, held 18 conferences covering a broad spectrum of specialties important to the region. The Congress attracted an estimated 6,000 medical professionals from across the region who came to update their knowledge and skills and earn Continuing Medical Education credits.

Siemens exhibits wireless digital x-ray detector

Siemens had a wide range of products on display covering most sectors of the industry. One of the most interesting was the new wireless digital xray detector – Ysio wi-D. It is the first such device of its kind and Siemens used Arab Health to introduce it to the Middle East market.

X-ray detectors are usually integrated into the examination table. The wireless Ysio, however, can be removed from the table and placed directly underneath or next to the patient. The patient can even stand on the flat panel. By being able to place the detector in almost any position this innovation is expected to greatly increase x-ray examination flexibility and simplify challenging scans.

The Ysio wi-D offers hi-resolution, fast imaging. The detector matrix has more than 7 million pixels with a pixel size of 144 micrometres.

Siemens says the system also takes advantage of DiamondView Plus – a post-processing application that removes noise, adds contrast and basically adds a final polish to the image.

The company also points out that the Ysio comes with advanced radiation dose  reduction features.

● Siemens’ Acuson S2000 premium ultrasound system and their fit-in-the-pocket portable handheld P10 ultrasound scanner, both on show at Arab Health 2008, are reviewed in the focus on ultrasound on page 44.

● Siemens also exhibited their new Artis zeego angiography system. See Product News page 70 for the review.

Philips shows innovative Live 3D TEE

Among the many products Philips Healthcare had on show at Arab Health 2008 was the innovative Live 3D Transesophageal Echo-cardiogram probe – Live 3D TEE.

Philips has transferred its well established Live 3D Echo to a TEE probe enabling cardiologists, cardiac surgeons, anaesthesiologists, cardiac interventionalists and echocardiographers to view new depths of data.

Philips says the Live 3D TEE is the result of combining and miniaturising two cutting-edge technologies. With the 3D power of xMATRIX technology and the exceptional image clarity of PureWave crystal technology in one transducer, new views of cardiac structure, pathology and function can be appreciated for the first time.

These views provide additional information for diagnoses, treatment planning, monitoring and assessing during procedures and followup.

In addition, Live 3D TEE imaging provides more perspectives of the heart, including the surgeon’s view – a perspective of the mitral valve from the left atrium as well as from the left ventricle. The 3D heart is displayed in motion, in real time.

● Philips Medical also announced the first installation in the region of its Ambient Experience Cath Lab at King Faisal Specialist Hospital & Research Center in Riyadh.

The Ambient Experience Cath Lab suite has been designed to support medical staff and soothe patients during the medical examination process.

A spokesperson for KFSH said the hospital plans to perform all invasive cardiology adult and paediatric procedures in the Ambient Experience Cath Lab, except the electrophysiology cases for which KFSH has a dedicated Cath Lab.

Carestream Health’s new Directview DR 3500

Among the new products Carestream Health introduced at Arab Health 2008 was the improved Kodak Directview CR (computed radiography) platform to further enhance image quality, improve technologist efficiency and increase ease of use. The company also introduced two new singlecassette CR systems – the Kodak Directview Classic and Elite CR Systems.

In digital radiography, Carestream Health introduced the Kodak Directview DR 3500, the fourth new offering in the Kodak Directview DR Systems portfolio since 2005.

The company has enhanced its Carestream PACS features to include: new built-in dynamic streaming capabilities that make advanced functionality readily available to authorised users; a new workflow grid technology that enhances enterprise-wide access to images and radiology reports, and; enhancements to embedded clinical applications such as native 3-D, image fusion, orthopaedic templating and cardiac analysis.

The company also showed off its fast expanding digital mammography portfolio and two new additions to its laser imaging portfolio – the Kodak Dryview 6800 for high-speed, high-resolution images for general radiography and digital mammography applications, and the table top Kodak Dryview 5800.

GE Healthcare marks 25 years of free upgrades

As in past years GE Healthcare had an impressive stand at Arab Health 2008 and exhibited a wide range of its latest products in radiology, patient monitoring, ultrasound and more. Highlights included the launch of the Definium 5000, a floor-mounted, digital radiographic (DR) system providing state of the art image quality, image processing and user interface.

GE says the new x-ray DR product is ideally suited for radiology and orthopaedic clinics where space is a premium. The Definium 5000 incorporates GE’s digital flat panel detector technology, along with a Uarm that can fit into smaller rooms without the need of ceiling support structures for xray tube suspensions.

In MRI, GE Healthcare introduced the new-generation HDMR (High Definition Magnetic Resonance) and marked 25 years of its Continuum technology nonobsolescence programme – a commitment to its installed MR customers which includes a combination of no charge and cost-effective purchasable, software and hardware upgrades. The next generation HDMR scanner – Signa HDxt – is available in 1.5T and 3.0T field strengths.

Dräger offers anaesthesia solution for MRI suite

Dräger Medical exhibited their new Fabius MRI, the latest generation of anesthesia solutions for magnetic resonance diagnostics. Dräger says the system is also suitable for other applications involving magnetic fields such as a cardiac catheterisation laboratory or proton therapy.

The functionality is guaranteed for use on MRI systems of 1.5T and 3T. The uniform operating concept of Dräger anesthesia devices has also been built into the MRI anesthesia workstation. The electrical ventilator allows controlled compliance compensation guaranteeing the necessary flow especially for low tidal volumes.

Since longer ventilation tubes are often used in the MR environment, an electrical ventilator is particularly advantageous. The Fabius MRI has an automatic acoustic distance detector to check maximum proximity to an MR system.

The Fabius plus with the Dräger E-Vent piston ventilator, means driving gas is no longer required, offering potential savings from reduced consumption of medical gases. In addition, the user also has the option to work without nitrous oxide.

News from the expo

SGH signs MoU with GE

The Saudi German Hospitals (SGH) Group and GE Healthcare signed an MoU on the sidelines of Arab Health 2008, which will see GE provide diagnostic imaging equipment for not-for-profit hospitals in the Middle East and Africa region.

SGH plans to build a series of 5,000 sq metre, 50-bed hospitals for the underserved in remote areas of Africa and the Middle East. Middle East Health (MEH) published an exclusive interview with Sobhi Batterjee, the CEO of SGH Group about his plan to build these “hospitals for the poor”.

The interview, published in the January 2008 issue of MEH is available online –

Attending the signing were representatives from GE Healthcare, the International Finance Corporation, the Islamic Development Bank and SGH. Mohammad Yunus, the founder of Bangladesh’s Grameen Bank, renowned for its successful micro loan strategy, also attended.

At the signing, Batterjee said this was an “historic moment which brings together brands and professionalism, and knowledge and experience to help alleviate poverty”. SGH will design, construct, equip, operate, and co-finance these hospitals.

GE will donate x-ray machines, ECG monitors, and ultrasound devices. Richard di Benedetto, president and CEO, GE Healthcare, Eastern & African Growth Markets said GE Healthcare’s core focus is ‘Early Health’ or preventive medicine. He said: “We are bridging the gap [in the provision of early health to the underserved] with this partnership.” Benedetto explained that GE Healthcare has the technology to screen for diseases.

“With this we can prevent disease. The quality of life will improve and the cost of healthcare will go down.”

Siemens wins $5m Bahrain contract

Siemens Healthcare announced an AED18 million (BHD1.85 million) (US$5 million) contract with Bahrain Defence Force Hospital at Arab Health 2008.

The contract includes a range of state-of-the-art radiology products including MRI and digital radiography systems; digital mammography and ultrasound; as well as mobile digital x-ray systems. In addition, Siemens Healthcare will offer a 10 year maintenance contract as part of the deal.

Siemens also announced the completion of a AED22 million (US$6 million) contract to install the Somatom Definition dual source CT system for the NMC Specialty Hospitals in Dubai and Al Ain.

Regional research grants awarded

The Dubai Harvard Foundation for Medical Research (DHFMR), an entity in the recently launched Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Academic Medical Center at Dubai Healthcare City announced its first research grants.

DHFMR awarded annual grants of US$350,000 each for two research teams under its Collaborative Research Programme. In addition, the DHFMR also launched two Research Fellowship Awards to post-doctoral researchers from the Middle East region.

Co-investigators for the first research grant are Dr Rose-Mary N. Boustany, chair of the Abu-Haidar Neuroscience Research Institute, American University of Beirut Medical Center, Lebanon, and Dr Susan Cotman, assistant professor, Harvard Medical School, and member of the Center for Human Genetic Research at Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, USA. Their project titled “Galactosylceramide as Potential Treatment for Juvenile Neuronal Ceroid Lipofuscinosis (JNCL) – Batten Disease” will receive multiyear grants.

Recipients of the two Research Fellowship Awards are Dr Faiqa Imtiaz Ahmad of the Arabian Diagnostics Laboratory at KFSHRC, Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and Dr Hasan H. Otu of the Yeditepe University Department of Genetics and Bioengineering, Istanbul, Turkey. Dr Ahmad will investigate the genetic causes of hereditary hearing loss and deafness, while Dr Otu will investigate management and analysis of functional genomic and proteomics data. Selected for their “remarkable commitment to science and outstanding track record,” both will continue research within the Middle East region after completing the programmes at the Harvard community.

The second research grants include principal investigators such as Dr Christopher A. Walsh, professor of Neurology & Pediatrics, Harvard Medical School, and chief, Division of Genetics, Children’s Hospital, Boston, USA; Dr Bassam Ali, associate professor of Molecular & Genetic Medicine, and Dr Lihadh Al-Gazali, professor in Clinical Genetics, Deptartment of Paediatrics, both at the Faculty of Medicine, United Arab Emirates University; and Dr Brian Meyer, chairman, Department of Genetics, King Faisal Specialist Hospital & Research Centre (KFSHRC) Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Their project titled “Identification of Genes for Human Cognition” will be funded for five years.

Effective from January 2008, the grants will enable recipients to build on established collaborations between research laboratories at Harvard Medical School and Middle East-based counterparts with the goal of ultimately forming independent regional research institutions.

The two Research Fellowship Awards have been granted to post-doctoral researchers from the Middle East region currently in the early stages of their research career. Recipients will work for up to three years under the guidance and mentorship of Harvard Medical School faculty.

Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi breaks ground

The ground breaking ceremony for Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi (CCAD) was held on the sidelines of Arab health 2008.

The 360-bed (scalable to 490), multi-specialty facility located on Al Sowa Island, Abu Dhabi, is expected to open its doors in 2011.

Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi is one of a number of initiatives led by Mubadala Healthcare, the division of Mubadala dedicated to investment in strategic, private healthcare infrastructure developments in Abu Dhabi. Like Cleveland Clinic in the United States, CCAD will be a physician-led medical facility served by US-trained and board-certified physicians.

The facility will offer advanced tertiary/quaternary medical services through a range of specialties and subspecialties.

American Hospital Dubai chooses Lawson software

US-based Lawson software announced that is has struck a deal with American Hospital Dubai (AHD) to supply and implement the Lawson S3 Human Capital Management, Enterprise Financial Management, Supply Chain Management and Business Intelligence software applications.

Jasper Kateli, chief financial officer, American Hospital Dubai, said: “The Lawson system will help us compete with other providers in the region by helping us quickly and more efficiently respond to inquiries from our patients and insurers. The Lawson system is designed to help make it easier to extend our business system as our medical campus grows.”

Tawam hospital launches mobile breast screening unit

Al Ain-based Tawam Hospital, in affiliation with Johns Hopkins Medicine, announced at Arab Health 2008 the launch of the first mobile mammography screening unit of its kind in the UAE.

The all-female operated mobile mammography vehicle is totally self-contained and fitted with high-end, cutting edge digital technology. Images can be transmitted to Tawam hospital for instant diagnosis.

If lesions are suspected, further analysis can be carried out and a decision on whether treatment is required can be made within hours. Should treatment be necessary, Tawam has a complete support team at their dedicated state-of-the-art Breast Care Center. “While breast screening could be provided in the large hospital-based centres such as Tawam, it is important to reach out to the remainder of the female population.

Developing a mobile screening programme to provide screening mammograms and breast health education to rural women in their own communities is the ideal solution,” said Michael E. Heindel, CEO of Tawam Hospital.

Initially the pilot project will operate in the emirate of Abu Dhabi, with plans to expand the programme to include six or more units. With the new mobile service Tawam is aiming to screen up to 20 patients per day, a significant increase on those who actually visit traditional hospital centres.

● It was also announced at Arab Health that Tawam Hospital will become a regional reference site for Philips Healthcare, following the hospital’s implementation of Philips’ Intellivue Clinical Information Portfolio Clinical Information System. The system, one of the most advanced patient data management systems in the world, collects data from life support equipment and stores it online, providing clinical staff with instant access to the information from anywhere in the hospital.

Said Abuhasna, chairman of the Department of Critical Care Medicine at Tawam Hospital, said: “It has had a significantly positive impact on the way we evaluate and treat patients, and we are proud that our hospital will become a showcase for delivering the best quality of patient care.”

 Date of upload: 3rd April 2008

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