Coronavirus: UAE health providers form ‘Alliance to fight COVID-19’ startup scheme

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Major UAE healthcare providers have joined forces to form the “Alliance to fight COVID-19” scheme aimed at identifying and attracting the best startup and tech companies to the UAE to work to combat the coronavirus pandemic, reported Emirates News Agency (WAM) on Wednesday.

The UAE has responded to the coronavirus pandemic with a variety of initiatives, ranging from genomic research into the DNA of the virus to the development of a robot for disinfecting airports.

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This latest initiative, which includes healthcare providers that together oversee more than 90 percent of patients in Abu Dhabi, aims to complement these efforts by collaborating on how best to include startup businesses as part of the UAE’s coronavirus response.

“We are deeply convinced that we are ready to look beyond the horizon of today’s healthcare and find new innovative ways to control and manage the disease. We encourage startups to come forward with innovative technologies and solutions that can be leveraged to fight this virus,” said Acting Undersecretary of the Department of Health Abu Dhabi Dr. Jamal Mohammed Al Kaabi via WAM.

The initiative is a collaboration involving governmental departments, healthcare providers, and private companies in the UAE:
• Department of Health – Abu Dhabi
• National Health Insurance Company – Daman
• The Authority of Social Contribution – Ma’an
• Etihad Airways
• Seven other public and private healthcare providers
• Plug and Play ADGM

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Using technology to fight COVID-19

Plug and Play is providing the technological expertise for the initiative, building on its existing emergency response services in support of the healthcare providers. These measures include virtual webinars to exchange best practice and sourcing startups from their network.

Under the “Alliance to fight COVID-19,” healthcare providers are set to benefit from Plug and Play’s services, which will provide “innovative solutions” according to WAM.

“COVID-19 has shown that technology and innovation is not just a nicety, but an imperative to save lives, maintain social welfare and to keep businesses going,” said Babak Ahmadzadeh, Director at Plug and Play ADGM.

Other partners also hailed the role startup businesses and tech firms could play both in the short and long-term.

“Start-ups, social enterprises and non-profit associations have a vital role to play in making a positive social impact in Abu Dhabi, whether it is during the current challenges or more long term,” said Salama Al Ameemi, Director General of Ma’an.

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