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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 22 May 2018

British health start-up wins Saudi deals after Crown Prince’s UK visit

The new partnerships between Medopad, Johnson & Johnson and SAP will help to accelerate the kingdom’s Vision 2030

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman pictured during his visit to London in March 2018. Reuters
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman pictured during his visit to London in March 2018. Reuters

A British healthcare start-up has clinched new deals with two multinational giants in the wake of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s recent visit to the UK.

Medopad, a London-based firm which uses artificial intelligence to connect patients with clinicians, will partner with Johnson & Johnson and SAP in the aim of increasing the activity and exercise levels of Saudi Arabia’s population.

The deals are tied into the Crown Prince’s Vision 2030, which includes ambitious digital transformation goals. Last year, SAP announced a SAR 285 million investment to create a public cloud hub in Saudi Arabia to help deliver the kingdom’s digitisation plans.

Creating a more digital and connected healthcare ecosystem is part of the overall vision, and Medopad will play a key part in helping to drive this.

“As the Saudi population grows and ages, the healthcare ecosystem needs digital platforms to reduce complexity, optimise costs, and enhance daily lives,” said Khaled Alsaleh, managing director of SAP Saudi Arabia.

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“Supporting Saudi Vision 2030, our partnership with Medopad and Johnson & Johnson leverages innovations, such as artificial intelligence, to enable patient self-care and to transform the healthcare experience,” he continued.

In its partnership with Johnson & Johnson, Medopad will look to address healthcare outcomes relating to cardiovascular disease, hypertension and diabetes, as well as to genetic and rare diseases.

Vishnu Kalra, managing director of Johnson & Johnson Janssen GCC, said: “The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is witnessing unprecedented times with its bold vision, profound national transformation efforts and strong leadership.

"We at Johnson & Johnson are committed to contribute and to partner with government stakeholders and Medopad to improve healthcare.”

It is hoped that by tackling the most pressing healthcare challenges and integrating global best practices in Saudi Arabia, Medopad will support the drive to increase the ratio of individuals exercising at least once a week from 13 per cent of the population to 40 per cent.

Medopad, which was founded in 2011, also plans to establish a Saudi base this year, which will help it deliver its goals in the kingdom.

“Saudi Arabia is taking healthcare transformation very seriously,” said Devin Dunn, Medopad’s Saudi partnerships lead. “The Ministry of Health intends to spend over SAR 23 billion in new healthcare initiatives over a 5-year period. We will look forward to being a part of this journey and improving health outcomes of Saudi Arabia’s population.”

She added: "We (along with our partners) are very committed to supporting Saudi Vision 2030".

The Crown Prince’s recent visit to the UK focused on broadening trade and investment ties and saw the signing of commercial deals worth more than $2 billion.

London and Riyadh concluded the visit by setting a further $90 billion trade and investment target for the coming years as London looks for post-Brexit markets and the kingdom pushes ahead with its plan for modernisation.