Middle East: The hotbed of healthcare innovation
A few years ago, UAE appointed the country’s first Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence. Middle East region has been progressive in the adoption of technology. According to a recent report published by Dealroom and EMERGE GHI, the health-tech startup ecosystem in the MENA region is now worth over $1.5B, a 22x increase since 2016.
As of now, domestic and international investors have raised $930 million. And this number will continue to go up in the coming years. With so much fund pooling in, tech innovations will continue to drive the healthcare industry.
Let’s look at the 3 Trends shaping the Future of Healthcare in Middle East:
- Telemedicine dominates when it comes to venture capital investment: Telemedicine has gained the most attention from venture capitalists in the last two years. To increase the market penetration in remote locations, telemedicine service providers have been offering a 360-degree solution to help patients. Essal- a health tech startup in MENA raised $1.7 million as it plans to expand its reach across the Middle East by investing in product development and growing its workforce. The company offers a platform that allows users to connect with consultants and seek answers to their concerns.
- The deployment of AI is gaining speed in the Middle East. AI-aided Super Agents can ‘engage to win’ customers with 63% more success, reveals Mantra Labs’ latest report. Agents empowered by AI can increase productivity and boost sales performance — like the customer’s email, appointment history, or why they last reached out. Health experts are working on AI-based solutions to improve the patient experience and their operational efficiency and productivity. According to PwC, AI’s overall contribution to the public sector in the Gulf region would be $59 billion by 2030, including health and education. The government in the region also announced the National AI Strategy 2031 to bring AI tools and technology to sectors including healthcare. Altib-Middle East’s largest AI-based digital health platform raised $44 million to develop a fully integrated primary care, offering accessible value-based solutions in accordance with Saudi Vision 2030 and Egypt’s Ministry of Health and Population.
- Increasing focus on digital infrastructure in the healthcare sector: According to the EMERGE GHI report, the GCC region had the highest healthcare infrastructure investments, with a major increase in the number of hospitals and beds between 2010 and 2020. Annual investment in healthcare digital infrastructure is likely to grow from $0.5B to $1.2B in the next two years, a 10% to 20% rise compared with the previous years of 3% to 4%. This will create numerous opportunities for startups to invest in digital solutions in the healthcare industry.
The Middle East has become a major interest area for venture capitalists in the last two years. The government in the Gulf region is also investing heavily in technology to improve the patient experience. A $250 million iGan Arabia fund will drive MedTech innovation in MENA region to explore investment opportunities in AI/Cloud-enhanced medical devices and digital health technologies. Investment in CX technology will increase as 74% of organizations in the region plan to invest more than $200,000 in 2022, reveals the latest intelligence report. With such significant investments in the health tech world, digital healthcare innovation will ramp up, providing plenty of opportunities for start-ups to innovate and improve patient experiences.