Arab Health review

Huge expo hosts more than
2,700 healthcare companies


Arab Health, the second largest medical trade show after Medica in Germany, was held in Dubai from 25-28 January. With the new extension to the Dubai International Exhibition and Convention Centre the organisers were able to host more than 2,700 companies from 70 countries.

Germany had its biggest representation at a trade fair outside of Germany, with more than 400 companies exhibiting. The second largest representation was China with around 300 companies. Big representations also came from the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom and the United States, each with around 200 exhibiting companies; and India, Iran, Italy, South Korea and Taiwan with upwards of 100 companies each.

By all accounts it was a very successful show, with exhibitors commenting that they had record numbers of ‘quality visitors’ – “people who can actually make decisions about buying”, as one exhibitor told Middle East Health.

Arab Health 2010 also featured the world’s biggest multi-track medical congress at which healthcare professionals earned continuing medical education credits. The 2010 conferences, sponsored by the Cleveland Clinic Centre for Continuing Education, were attended by more than 5,500 people.

Many companies use the exhibition to announce their latest developments and launch new products and services. Following is a brief selection of some of the news that made headlines at Arab Health this year.

Siemens introduces ‘Green’ hospital initiative

Siemens has introduced an initiative they are calling the “Green+ Hospitals” programme. The company notes that sustainability essentially includes ecological, social, and economic factors and that this also applies to healthcare and its service providers

Siemens says that the “plus” in the name means that sustainability in healthcare does not simply equal ecology. In this industry it has far more to do with increasing workflow efficiency, improving the economic sustainability of healthcare companies, and simultaneously optimising the quality of patient care, as well as taking into account environmentally relevant characteristics. For this reason, Green+ Hospitals brings together all solutions that help hospitals meet these three criteria. The programme was introduced to the public in detail for the first time at Arab Health 2010.

Siemens points out that when combined with ecological, economic, and social criteria, sustainability ensures the future success of our society. In this regard, health is both a result and a prerequisite. The sustainable development of our society supports and promotes health. On the other hand, sustainable economic activity is impossible without a healthy population. For sustainable development, society therefore needs healthcare systems which are viable for the future and, which in turn also have to meet sustainability criteria. However, cost pressures often result in problems for healthcare systems, calling into question the sustainability of their services. Today’s physicians and hospitals are expected to be environmentally sensitive and continually improve patient care, while simultaneously lowering costs. In order to ensure that diagnostics and therapy, even personalised medicine, will continue to satisfy the highest standards and yet still meet the requirements of affordable healthcare, Siemens designed “Green+ Hospitals”.


The hospital benefits from Green+ Hospitals because workflows are optimised and service processes are designed to be more efficient. Innovative medical systems and high-tech building infrastructure reduce energy costs and help to improve patient care. Patients benefit for example from shorter wait times and new diagnostic and treatment methods that put less strain on the body while improving the quality of treatment. In addition, as part of Green+ Hospitals Siemens advises its customers on optimising workflows, building management, energy management, control systems, as well as IT and communications infrastructure.

“There are of course many approaches in the hospital that include critical aspects of sustainable development for the organisation, such as promoting preventive care, patient orientation, and quality and environmental management. However, these tend to be viewed as separate, isolated issues. With Green+ Hospitals we want to turn the individual aspects into a comprehensive picture to help our customers operate sustainably,” said Heinrich von Wulfen, CEO of Sales Regions Europe, Africa & Middle East, and Customer Relationship Management at Siemens Healthcare.


Dr Soliman Fakeeh Hospital unveils CSR report

Saudi-based Dr Soliman Fakeeh Hospital (DSFH), unveiled the first-of-its-kind healthcare Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Report in the region, aimed at reinforcing its commitment to sustainability and responsibility to the social environment it operates in.

The DSFH report is also the first non-financial report to be developed by a hospital in the region. The CSR report not only looks at steps to raise standards of patient treatment and care but also reinforces DSFH’s responsibility towards the local community in order to improve the quality of life and productivity.

As per the report, DSFH has implemented a series of initiatives such as cutting down on energy and water consumption, switching to eco-friendly technology and programmes aimed at cutting down on its carbon footprint. The report, developed with international standards, was applauded and approved by Global Reporting Initiative (GRI).

Commenting on the report Dr Mazen Fakeeh, General Director at DSFH, said: “Dr Soliman Fakeeh Hospital has always believed in practices built around the principles of honesty, responsibility and ethics. Over the last few years, we have established our mandate as a socially responsible hospital by cutting down on energy and water use, switched to digital x-rays, started recycling campaign, and tracking our carbon emissions. Our major objective for the next years is to raise the patient satisfaction rate by at least five per cent annually. These were the first steps towards a cleaner, greener future for Saudi Arabia.”

Sanyo shows off new medical refrigeration systems

Japan-based Sanyo may be more well known for its consumer electronic products, but it also has a highly respected track record for medical preservation systems. At Arab Health Sanyo introduced its latest line of eco-friendly CO2 incubators including the MCO-80IC, a large-size CO2 incubator, the MCO- 19AIC, a medium-size CO2 incubator and the V-1500, isothermal freezer, from USbased Custom Biogenic Systems. With the addition of this isothermal freezer Sanyo is able to offer a total preservation solution portfolio.

Sanyo says its biomedical products incorporate the latest applied theories and ideas, refrigeration compressors, electronic components, robotic manufacturing and economies-of-scale that directly benefit its target consumers.

The V-1500, isothermal freezer utilises a patented liquid nitrogen jacket to provide uniform storage temperatures in the -190°C range. It has a capacity for 9,200 2ml vials or 434 50ml bags.

The MCO-80IC is ideal for culturing large volumes of patient samples, performing short-term studies, and working with large volume cell culture apparatus. The model incorporates SANYO’s exclusive incubator technologies like inCu saFe interiors, UV decontamination option, and IR CO2 sensor with P.I.D. control. The MCO-80IC also provides the advantage of an exceptionally low CO2 gas consumption.

The medium-sized MCO-19AIC CO2 incubator is designed to meet the demands of regulated applications in biomedical, pharmaceutical, medical research and clinical laboratories. The MCO-19AIC offers high-performance functions in high-value cell handling procedures like hard-to-grow cell lines, cells highly sensitive to contamination, ultra-sensitive media and reagents, or protocols that require a strict isolation and decontamination between processes. It also has an optional Dual Decontamination feature by the use of a H2O2 decontaminant.

Motokatsu Sakaguchi, Managing Director, SANYO Gulf, explained to Middle East Health that Sanyo has been established in the medical industry in Japan for the past 30 years and is particularly well known for its medical freezers.

“We’ve been doing business in the Middle East for the past 20 years,” he noted. “In the medical refrigeration market in the Middle East we have a about a 50-60% market share.”

He said Sanyo had adopted an ethic which they termed “Think Gaia” (Gaia is the ancient Greek Goddess of the Earth and is used nowadays an expression of the ‘living’ Earth). “With this philosophy our aim is to make products that do not harm the environment and that also help people to live a healthy life,” Sakaguchi explained.


Tawam Hospital wins 2010 Arab Health Excellence in Imaging and Diagnostics Award for mobile breast screening initiative

Tawam Hospital in Al Ain in the United Arab Emirates has been honoured with the 2010 Arab Health Excellence in Imaging and Diagnostics Award in recognition of its pro-active use of its advanced imaging technology in social responsibility programmes throughout the emirate of Abu Dhabi

Throughout 2009 Tawam Hospital used its Mobile Mammography Van to access remote areas in the emirate and provide free breast screening to women over 40 years old. The initiative was part of Tawam Hospital’s annual Breast Cancer Awareness campaign and proved to be one of the most extensive awareness campaigns seen in the region.

Tawam Hospital is the first hospital in the Middle East to introduce a mobile mammography van. The objective of the van is to ensure that every woman, above the age of 40, living in the remote areas of Abu Dhabi, has access to a mammogram, a breast exam and educational material on breast cancer prevention and early detection, all free of charge.

During 2009, the mobile breast screening unit, along with a dedicated team of professionals from Tawam Hospital’s Breast Care Center, screened 1,874 women from 10 locations in Abu Dhabi emirate.

In addition to regular visits with the mobile breast screening unit to remote areas in Abu Dhabi, Tawam Hospital also supported the annual global breast cancer awareness campaign in October. The campaign’s theme was “Early Detection is your Best Protection”. It comprised daily awareness activities that required handson participation from the local community. Activities included creative mall stands, fun runs, health conferences, and lectures at universities and schools. More than 350 women were screened during October.

During 2009 a total of 4,108 women in Abu Dhabi had mammograms either at Tawam’s Breast Care Center or in the Mobile Mammography Van.


Due to the outstanding success of the 2009 campaign, Tawam Hospital has organised a broader and more comprehensive schedule for its Mobile Mammography Van this year. This year’s campaign will target women as well as their close relatives. Husbands, brothers and children will also be educated about breast cancer and the importance of early detection.

Tawam Hospital is committed to letting women know that breast cancer is no longer taboo. Women need to learn to become more pro-active towards their own health and well being. They need to know that early detection is imperative to the successful treatment of breast cancer.


Samsung to set up clinical facility at DHCC

Korean company Samsung announced it would open a large clinical facility at Dubai Healthcare City (DHCC). The multi-specialist medical centre, spanning 6,800 square foot, will provide a special focus on the early detection of cancer and intervention treatment as well as consultancy in cardiology, child health, endocrinology, family medicine, gastroenterology, orthopaedics, and women’s health. The facility will have three full-time physicians as well as a visiting programme of 12 physicians and will utilise existing diagnostic and radiology services within DHCC.

Dr Han Yong Choi, President of Samsung Medical Center in Korea pointed out that Samsung had a 15-year track record in providing state-of-the-art medical services, with outstanding faculty and medical technologies.

“We have been leaders in medical innovation and care in Korea and our expansion into Dubai represents our ambition to make a difference beyond our borders. We have chosen Dubai and Dubai Healthcare City in particular as our location because after careful assessment, we feel it provides the infrastructure and healthcare governance required to make this project a success.”


SEHA – developing Abu Dhabi’s public healthcare system

There are few players in the UAE healthcare industry as large or as spotlighted as Abu Dhabi Health Services (SEHA). The company enjoys a market share of about 80% of Abu Dhabi’s inpatient admissions and about 60% of its outpatient visits, operating a total of 12 hospitals, 62 ambulatory and primary healthcare clinics, and two blood banks in Abu Dhabi.

SEHA grabbed headlines in January during the Arab Health Innovation and Achievement Awards as the organisation received four of the eight regional honours. According to Saif Bader Al Qubaisi, Chairman of SEHA, the organisation’s participation in Arab Health Congress 2010 and competing for recognition in the Arab Health Awards was an opportunity for SEHA to demonstrate its focus on strategic objectives, review its recent accomplishments, and highlight the opportunities that exist for advancing healthcare services in the region.

Out of the 24 award nominations, SEHA institutions received eleven nominations in six of the eight award categories. It was reported that some 200 submissions were received from as many as 13 countries. In the end, six of the eight awards went to UAE recipients, and four of the eight to SEHA hospitals and clinics. Tawam Hospital, managed by SEHA, submitted five projects for consideration in five different award categories, all of which were shortlisted. In four of the eight award categories, SEHA hospitals or divisions received multiple nominations.

Tawam Hospital was the first SEHA organisation recognised with the Excellence in Imaging and Diagnostics Award. Following that announcement was the presentation of the Excellence in Surgery Services Award to Mafraq Hospital. The Excellence in Patient Centred Care Award – perhaps of the most highly prized recognition – was then given to SEHA’s Al Corniche Hospital, with SEHA’s Ambulatory Healthcare Services earning the Human Resource Development Award.

“We are very pleased to have competed and to have been selected over strong contenders who, like us, are raising the bar of excellence for patients in the Middle East,” Carl V. Stanifer, CEO of SEHA, said. “These honours belong not only to SEHA, but all of our public and private partners, and are a reflection of the commitment to excellence shared amongst SEHA’s caring and professional employees.”

During Arab Health 2010, SEHA showcased its progress since it began operations in January 2008. It also provided a glimpse into the future of healthcare delivery in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi.

Two major development projects are currently underway involving the replacement of SEHA’s Mafraq and Al Ain hospitals with new, state-of-the-art facilities by 2013. Large models of these replacement hospitals were on display at SEHA’s exhibit.

At this year’s event, all of SEHA’s hospitals and divisions showcased their businesses in individual pavilions within a single, larger exhibition space. “We wanted to provide people with a comprehensive view of who we are and how SEHA as a collective unit is advancing an agenda of developing a high-quality, integrated healthcare system competitive with the best systems in the world,” Stanifer said.

Healthcare accreditation

Healthcare accreditation was a particularly hot topic at this year’s Arab Health as the public continues to look for assurance that local healthcare providers are developing in line with international standards, with the spotlight centred squarely on companies like SEHA.

Because these programmes often take months if not years to develop – and given that they are quite technical in nature – Stanifer says that one of the challenges for healthcare companies is communicating to the public how accreditation programmes benefit patients.

“Comparing healthcare institutions is difficult for the average person who may not have a thorough knowledge of what best practices are,” he said. “Accreditation is a great way to benchmark oneself against international standards, and exhibitions like Arab Health give us the opportunity to showcase those results to the public.”

In the past year, three SEHA hospitals and clinics received re-certifications by the Joint Commission International (JCI). These include Tawam Hospital, Tawam Dental Clinic and the first public hospital in the UAE to receive JCI accreditation, Al Rahba Hospital. SEHA Ambulatory Healthcare Services clinic at Khalifa City A also received its first accreditation certificate. In the past two years, six SEHA facilities – including Al Corniche Hospital and portions of Sheikh Khalifa Medical City including the hospital, a number of its Family Clinics and the Blood Bank – have received international accreditation for sustaining quality-control programmes.

Such advancements include introducing a Electronic Medical Records system across SEHA last year in addition to rolling out a number of other IT improvements.

Through partnerships with organizations such as Johns Hopkins Medicine International, Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Bumrungrad International, VAMED and the Medical University of Vienna, SEHA has shown that it is committed to delivering healthcare services comparable to the best available in the world, and that patients in UAE will be the ones ultimately benefitting.


Innovative New Zealand companies make inroads in the Middle East

New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NZTE), the government’s economic development agency, brought six companies to Arab Health. Middle East Health spoke to Hesham Salah, NZTE’s business development manager, Middle East and Africa, and New Zealander Dr Shane Reti, the COO, International Programmes for the Division of Clinical Informatics at Harvard Medical School about some of these companies’ innovative technologies.

Hesham explained that the Middle East and GCC was one of the highest growth markets for New Zealand companies and added that in 2009 the GCC became New Zealand’s seventh largest export market.

“We are attracted to this region because of the high growth and the demand for products and services and the drive for high-end, advanced technologies. New Zealand has the ability to innovate and collaborate in this regard,” Hesham pointed out.

In health care some of the key New Zealand companies active in the Middle East include Fisher and Paykel, <> which have had a presence in the Middle East for more than 20 years. Fisher and Paykel is New Zealand’s largest medical device company. The company specialises in the development of respiratory humidifier systems for use in critical care.

“On the health IT side, Orion Health, <> the largest private software company in New Zealand, is well established in the region,” Hesham noted. Orion Health is a specialist in the provision of clinical workflow and integration technology for the healthcare sector.

ARANZ, <> a developer of 3D scanning and modeling technology, is exploring the region for the first time.

“ARANZ has developed a sophisticated 3D modeling device – the Silhouette – that assesses the volume of wounds, ulcers and, essentially, any skin damage,” explained Dr Reti. “It is particularly suitable for monitoring and assessing change [of the wound] over time.”

He said that in some cases the change in the wound volume [wound healing] is not visible from one day to the next. This portable device – about the size of 2 iPods – is used to scan the wound and provide an accurate wound volume assessment.

“So for example if today the wound volume is 10 cubic cm and tomorrow it is 12 cubic cm, although I can’t see that difference, I now know that there is a difference, which will enable me to reassess the management of the wound. This is where this technology is so cutting edge.”

“The device evolved from technology used in 3D animation in the production of Lord of the Rings (which was filmed in New Zealand),” added Hesham.

The Silhouette could be really useful in the region to assist in the management of wounds, particularly with the high prevalence of diabetes (diabetic wounds) and trauma – construction site accidents and traffic accidents, in the region.

Winscribe <> is another New Zealand company making inroads in the Middle East, particularly with the move towards digitalisation in the healthcare industry. The company specialises in the development of digital dictation software.

“Winscribe has a presence in several medical facilities in the region,” Dr Reti added.

The system is particularly useful in the OR, for example, when the surgeon is gloved up and needs to make notes. He can walk to the wall press a button and dictate his notes into the Winscribe system, which immediately indexes and files the dictated notes. “It’s incredibly quick and efficient,” said Dr Reti.

Om Life launched in Dubai

At Arab Health in Dubai in January Om Life was launched. The Dubai-based company has the distribution rights for the MENA region for the latest Pulsed Electro-Magnetic Field (PEMF) therapy and Hyperbaric Oxygen Chamber technologies.

PEMF is a safe, certified and established non-invasive treatment that applies targeted electromagnetic pulses to the patient’s body. This stimulates cellular activity to accelerate healing times and reduce pain, inflammation, stress, injury or illness. The Hyperbaric Oxygen Chamber provides elevated oxygen levels to ease a range of neurological disorders, including multiple sclerosis.


Patient ID wristband company signs huge order

Printed wristband manufacturer Brenmoor from Skipton in the UK enjoyed great success at the exhibition. Showcasing at Arab Health for the first time, the company signed an order on the second day of the show for 100,000 patient identification wristbands and are now looking to roll out patient identification wristbands across the Middle East.

According to the company the identification bands – which help reduce patient identification errors – are cost effective, high quality and contain a barcode, the patient’s name and their date of birth. They are easy to print, extremely comfortable for the patient and are resistant to soaps, alcohol, water and other common chemicals used in hospitals.

There are a wide range of ID bracelets available including Patient ID wristband company signs huge order those for general patient use, short to medium term stays in hospital and ones specially designed for children. Paul Brennan of Brenmoor, said:

“We are in advanced discussions with a number of companies in the Middle East who are eager to supply our wristbands to hospitals across the region,” he added.

● For more information visit,

 Date of upload: 20th April 2010

                                               Copyright © 2010 All Rights Reserved.