DAMAC GM calls for SMEs to develop healthcare super apps to help UAE residents
Ali Sajwani, Emirati entrepreneur and the key driver of digital transformation within DAMAC Properties, is calling for entrepreneurs and SMEs throughout the UAE to channel their creativity and innovation into accelerating the development of a healthcare super app to enhance the wellbeing and health of the UAE.
Sajwani is also the founding board member of Emirates Angels Investors Association, a non-profit organisation that aims to positively contribute to the early-stage investment ecosystem. He sees great potential for super apps to revolutionise the healthcare sector.
He said, “Super apps offer convenience and simplicity to patients. There is an increasing need for on-demand healthcare solutions that goes hand in hand with the increasing awareness and health consciousness among consumers.”
According to Dubai Health Authority, 30 percent of the UAE’s population is either diabetic or pre-diabetic and 27.8 percent of the adult population is overweight. Healthcare super apps have the potential to empower patients to make better lifestyle choices and offer better access to healthcare professionals.
In healthcare, although super apps are still in its embryonic stage, medical devices are getting smarter by the day with iWatch, Fitbit, BLE heart rate monitors, pulse rate monitors, diabetes checkers and many more devices providing a detailed insight when paired with mobile apps. Medical health records are also easier to manage online and accessible to the doctors as well as the patients, up and down the country.
By encouraging daily self-management and providing routine follow up care, healthcare super apps can offer a holistic approach to health and wellness where healthy behaviour is incentivised, and communication with practitioners is streamlined.
Sajwani added, “As super apps are slowly finding their way into Western markets, the time is right for the UAE to engage its entrepreneurial spirit and accelerate the development of one single mobile app solution. One that provides a high level of convenience for patients, allows for data sharing across platforms and service providers, and eliminates the complex processes and procedures involved in managing healthcare.”
The UAE ranked first regionally in the 2020 Global Innovation Index and has taken several steps to promote and encourage innovation, in line with the 'United in Knowledge' pillar under the country’s Vision 2021. Incubators such as the Dubai Future Accelerators initiative were created specifically to enable rapid deployment of transformative technologies such as artificial intelligence, robotics, biotechnology and 3D printing. Meanwhile, Smart Dubai, which plays host to many emerging technology-backed applications is working with the Dubai Health Authority on a smart inventory app that allows users to process warehousing transactions and track the supply chain for medicines from anywhere using a smartphone, tablet, or any portable device.
“With the global mHealth market size estimated to reach US$166.2 billion by 2028, it is too big to ignore. Therefore, start-ups and entrepreneurs in the UAE should consider channelling their energies into playing a more prominent role in this market, by becoming invaluable players in the super app space,” Sajwani concluded.