The Digital Imperative:
Looking toward the new horizon of
Digital Health across the MEA

The Digital Imperative:

Looking toward the new horizon of Digital Heath technology across the Middle East and Africa

As all aspects of daily life have started to move towards digitization and on-the-go format, it has become clear the enormous benefits and efficiencies that can be drawn from a connected lifestyle.

Digital health has seen the benefits of this change and in one form or another has been taking shape across the globe for quite a few years now.

Healthcare providers, patients, payers, and health insurance companies are realizing the enormous benefits that can be drawn from digitizing virtually all aspects of healthcare, from diagnosis to treatment, from prevention to monitoring, from in-hospital care to remote care 24/7 (‘home-spital’). Healthcare is democratized, decentralized, personalized, more proactive and crowd sourced.


MEA Achievements

Whether we’re looking at improvements at a country-level or a healthcare system-level, breaking down silos and applying interoperable connectivity is key to the digitization of healthcare. From a patient’s point of view, every patient visit, diagnostics, and subsequent treatment generate an abundance of data that can potentially improve the experience for the current and future visits.

To optimally harness this data, an electronic health record is at the foundation of this process. The good news is that the MENA region has seen an exponential growth in adopting electronic medical records over the past 10 years. More recently, there’s a push to unify electronic medical records across the different healthcare sectors within each country and store them in the cloud protecting patients’ confidential health data.

These new welcomed developments provide an ecosystem for patient data that can help all involved parties to have a seamless experience while enhancing value-based interventions and improving resource utilizations.


Current Trends


When considering consultation, diagnosis, and treatment outside the acute-care setting, this has been a growing trend within MENA. Giving the current circumstances Covid-19 has been a tremendous catalyst for major changes, among which telehealth is now one of the fastest growing segments of healthcare in the Middle East where The total market is projected to be 9.5 B $ in 2025 according to IQVIA. The ability for patients to do more remotely has far reaching benefits ranging from infection prevention, to timely diagnosis, from continuous monitoring to accurate predictions and better therapy adherence.

Patient Empowerment

A byproduct of digital health is empowering patients to be more in control of their health and wellbeing. With the abundance of wearables and IoT, both the caregiver and patient are more readily informed to be able to act in a timely manner which in turn relieves the pressure of unnecessary hospital visits.


MedTech Industry as Enabler

Digitization of healthcare cannot be discussed without mentioning the important role of integrators who are the true enablers. For data to flow freely and seamlessly and the right analytics and artificial intelligence are applied to provide actionable insights, suitable infrastructure must be in place to allow data flow and hosting where required.

This means engagement and alignment between the MedTech industry and regulating bodies, IT or telecommunication providers and the healthcare providers.