Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 22 May 2019

Gulf Medical University launches centre to train student doctors in AI

Experts hope the centre will help tackle the lack of AI education and training in undergraduate medical students

Prof Hossam Hamdy, chancellor of Gulf Medical University. Reem Mohammed / The National
Prof Hossam Hamdy, chancellor of Gulf Medical University. Reem Mohammed / The National

Gulf Medical University has launched a teaching hospital in Ajman where student doctors will be taught how to use artificial intelligence.

The move is designed to combat what experts see as a lack of preparedness for AI in the medical community.

“It’s an issue that medical students are not educated enough about AI and how to apply it in the field,” said Prof Hossam Hamdy, chancellor of Gulf Medical University.

“Machines will not replace medical staff. They complement each other. AI is rapidly transforming the health industry and we must cope with it.”

The university will train medical students across all majors to ensure their readiness for the workplace and how to use the latest technologies after graduation.

This new hospital will treat patients as well as train medical staff. It will have an initial capacity of 350 patients, to increase to over 500 beds when fully operational.

Among the technology the future medical professionals will be trained on is the virtual patient learning system, an AI simulation programme that enables medical students to diagnose, treat and observe a patient’s progress.

“This data analysis will provide new methods of treatment,” Prof Hamdy said.

Determining a diagnosis or treatment can require medical tests and input from several specialists, but AI can help with this. A patient with poor kidney function, for instance, as well as other medical issues, such as diabetes, will respond differently to kidney medication. AI would help the nephrologist determine the right course of treatment.

Prof Hamdy believes that because of this reduced time and manpower, the use of AI will lower treatment costs for patients.

Health experts agree that AI is becoming a transformational force in health care.

“It reshapes the ways in which medical information is shared, new therapies are discovered and how diseases are treated,” said Mohammed Amin, senior vice president of the Middle East, Turkey and Africa region at software company Dell EMC.


Read more:

Off-hours: Medical college founder says work is his indulgence

The UAE will save billions thanks to artificial intelligence, says AI minister


Mr Amin believes we are moving into an era where data and its analysis are key assets to healthcare organisations.

“Eighty-one per cent of global healthcare leaders admit they are lagging behind other industries when it comes to data analysis,” he said.

Mr Amin said healthcare organisations are expected to continuously provide improved patient care capabilities while also minimising cost.

“The UAE launched an innovation strategy prioritising healthcare and backing it with huge investment to set up the infrastructure to create a technology-enabled healthcare system,” he said.

Updated: August 7, 2018 09:53 PM