International WearAble TeCHnology Conference in Dubai unveils
International WearAble TeCHnology Conference in Dubai unveils innovations set to revolutionise the healthcare industry. For the first time in the Middle East, Mohammed Bin Rashid University of Medicine & Health Sciences (MBR-UHMS), Dubai, played host to the 3rd International WearAble TeCHnology in Healthcare (WATCH) Conference. This prestigious global event was held on Saturday, December 5th and was a result of a collaboration between WATCH and Dubai Healthcare City (DHCC), endorsed by the Emirates Medical Association and the Emirates Health Informatics Society.
The first annual UAE eHealth week is taking place in Dubai from today the 9th of December, with two full days hosted at MBR-UHMS. The WATCH Society Conference was a great precursor to it, demonstrating the global impact that wearable technology will have on the healthcare industry.
Dr Amer Sharif, Managing Director – Education Division, Dubai Healthcare City opened the event, saying: “The wearable technology sector is growing faster than ever before, and with Dubai’s burgeoning reputation as an international centre of innovation, I can see the region attracting many events of this magnitude in the future. Mohammed Bin Rashid University aims to be central to the development of health care innovation in our region, and as an international leader in grooming the health care professionals of tomorrow”.
The event follows the recent success of ‘UAE Innovation Week’, a nationwide celebration of innovation for everyone in the UAE in line with the directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President and Prime Minister, and Ruler of Dubai. It was one of the largest innovation initiatives in the world and a consolidated effort by the government, the private sector and individuals to help create a widespread culture of innovation in the UAE and strengthen its position as a global hub for innovation. This is in line with the National Innovation Strategy which is structured around the pillars of creating an innovation enabling environment, developing innovation champions and focusing on driving innovation through priority sectors such as the health sector.
The WATCH Society (International Society for WeArable TeChnology in Healthcare) is a non-profit, medical society, which aims to bring together healthcare experts and technology manufacturers in order to improve healthcare through innovation. Mohammed Bin Rashid University of Medicine & Health Sciences was a natural choice to host the conference in Dubai given the advanced infrastructure and curriculum provided to both students and faculty. Previous speakers have included senior professors, physicians and surgeons from some of the world’s most recognisable medical schools including Harvard, Stanford, Duke and John Hopkins as well as CEOs of technical development companies working with Google Glass headware.
Dr. Marlies Schijven, the WATCH Society President and Professor of Surgery and Chair on Simulation, Serious Gaming and Applied Mobile Healthcare
Academic Medical Center Amsterdam, The Netherlands, said, “For the 3rd International Conference of WATCH, we were delighted to collaborate with the Mohammed Bin Rashid University of Medicine & Health Sciences and Dubai Healthcare City. WATCH is at the forefront of embedding new technologies and innovations in healthcare by and for professionals and patients and we aim to inspire our colleagues and friends. We were convinced that the vibrant and innovative atmosphere of the City of Dubai, combined with the hospitality of MBR-UHMS would be an excellent atmosphere for the WATCH conference”.
This was the third instance of the WATCH Conference, which was previously held in Amsterdam, the Netherlands in April 2015, following the inaugural event in Indianapolis, USA in 2014. It provides an international platform for wearable technology in healthcare, providing a broad range of education and networking opportunities for clinicians, academicians, industry stakeholders and entrepreneurs alike. Previous topics for discussion have included the focus on patient privacy as well as overcoming the hype in order to obtain sustainable evidence.
Event highlights this year include:
- The integration and implications of digital health in clinical practice.
- Adopting wearable devices technologies – innovation versus governance.
- Human aspects and patient success stories using wearable technologies.
- Finding opportunities for digital health and wearables in healthcare.
- The future of wearable technology: global and regional perspectives.