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Department of Health - Abu Dhabi and Danat Al Emarat organize pregnancy focused health hackathon, “PREG-A-THON”

26 Feb, 2021: In line with UAE’s Innovation Week, the Department of Health – Abu Dhabi (DoH) and Danat Al Emarat Hospital have kicked off today the third edition of the healthcare hackathon “PREG-A-THON”. With the support of DoH’s AI Lab, United Eastern Medical Services (UEMedical) and Microsoft, the 2-day hackathon is held virtually, bringing together researchers, students, and practitioners forming a community around an innovative resource to find solutions for managing pregnancy complications.

The hackathon hosts a number of speakers from DoH’s AI Lab and various physicians from Danat Al Emarat Hospital discussing a wide range of topics with a focus on safe and healthy pregnancy through several panel discussions and group activities.

The hackathon aims to create and develop innovative programmes to manage pregnancy complications proactively at Danat Al Emarat Hospital. These programmes will contribute to further enhancing the specialised healthcare services provided to pregnant women while helping healthcare experts achieve better clinical outcomes. 

H.E Dr. Jamal Mohammed Alkaabi, Undersecretary of DoH said: “Innovation has always been one of our core priorities at the Department of Health. We are keen to transform the way healthcare is delivered across Abu Dhabi by using innovation and research to power truly sustainable solutions. To that end, we are pleased to be collaborating with Danat Al Emarat Hospital in organising this unique hack-a-thon, which employs a novel approach to tackle issues and find solutions that can help manage complications faced during pregnancy.”

“With each edition, the healthcare hackathon focuses on a certain medical topic that helps instil a culture of innovation among Abu Dhabi’s healthcare sectors and stimulate the adoption of AI. It also strives to elevate healthcare services provided to new heights and further enhance specialised state-of-the-art quality services. We encourage the talented minds to follow through with their innovations to help push the healthcare sector forward” Al Kaabi added.

Majd Abu Zant, Acting CEO of UEMedical said: “UEMedical group including Danat Al Emarat Hospital for Women & Children, HealthPlus Network of Specialty Centers and Moorfields Eye Hospital Abu Dhabiare always keen to organize activities and events that encourage innovation and continuously invest in AI and other advanced technologies, to enhance the quality of healthcare services provided in our facilities around the UAE”. 

“Such valuable initiatives have a positive impact on the diagnostic, curative and preventative healthcare services provided to members of the community. Choosing safe pregnancy as a topic for the hackathon this year reflects DoH’s commitment towards enhancing the healthcare services provided to mothers and children with a focus on ensuring the health and safety of mothers during pregnancy and delivery. Multiple innovative solutions will be the outcome of this 2-day hackathon, which will focus on the prevention and early detection of pregnancy problems; and managing them for improved outcomes. These solutions will be turned into actual programmes to be executed at Danat Al Emarat,” Abu Zant added. 

Dr. Mohaymen Abdelghany, CEO of Danat Al Emarat Hospital said: “Danat Al Emarat Hospital was one of the first hospitals to have a dedicated department and team for innovation and excellence since over two years, which aims to create an ecosystem to test new technologies and new approaches to deliver better results and innovation for development. The department gives the opportunity to all staff including physicians, nurses, technicians and others, to showcase their creativity and innovative capabilities; and to witness many of these initiatives implemented across the different areas of the hospital. This reflects our unwavering efforts to support innovation and use the benefits of AI and cutting-edge technologies to serve our patients and contribute to further enhancing the quality of healthcare services in line with DoH’s strategy.” 

Dr. Abdelghany added, “each competing team consists of 5 individuals including a doctor, a nurse, a programmer/ a designer, an app developer and a data specialist from the UAE and outside the country. Each team works collectively to develop an innovative programme to improve the services provided to pregnant women and eliminate any related potential problems. I believe that such initiatives would create competitiveness to bring the best to the table and to utilize their capabilities the right way for the benefit of our communities. The winning team will be announced on the end of the second day of the hackathon and will not only win a prize but will also have the opportunity to have their innovative solution/application implemented at Danat Al Emarat Hospital.” 

The first edition of the health hackathon brought by DoH’s AI lab in 2019 focused on creating and developing innovative solutions to manage chronic diseases; one of the current challenges facing the healthcare sector today, whereas the second edition focused on the management of respiratory diseases and coming up with innovative solutions and empowering technology and data science to contribute to reducing the risks of spreading them as they respiratory diseases are among the most common diseases in the UAE. 

The Artificial Intelligence (AI) Lab by the DoH aims to foster a new culture, mindset and ways of working for innovators in healthcare. It provides a medium for fuelling creativity and coaching idea-owners and innovation teams to bring their ideas to life.

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