New technologies to accelerate data-driven healthcare transformation in the Middle East

Since Covid-19 took a toll around the globe in 2020, the Middle East has been seen as a positive outlook when it comes to adopting technologies. Basic IT infrastructure such as the Hospital Information System (HIS), Electronic Health Record (EMR) or other database related technologies, are quite prevalent in the UAE and Saudi Arabia. On top of it, new technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) are also being adopted in the region for providing
opportunities, especially in the diagnostic space, where it is going to play a major role.

The healthcare sector is undergoing a critical, data-driven transformation. Arthur D. Little, the management consultancy firm with the longest-standing presence in the Middle East region, explores emerging technology trend including issues around increased data-gathering in their latest report entitled Data-driven healthcare: Analyzing the forces driving the transformation of healthcare. The viewpoint provides insights on data-driven healthcare drivers and details how important technologies will industry transformation over the nextdecade.

The consultancy highlights that digital transformation in healthcare is the key to enhancing quality, boosting access, and driving efficiency. Moreover, it projects that clinical workflow will become more agile by virtue of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and advanced analytics, ultimately automating decision-making processes while many important technologies reach mainstream adoption.

“As we look ahead to the coming years, the influence and impact of emerging technologies are already apparent. Because of the fundamental reform they deliver, a data-driven transformation is the first step in moving the industry forward,” said Vikas Kharbanda, Partner and Healthcare practice lead at Arthur D. Little Middle East. “Big data is particularly significant for healthcare players due to the benefits it offers. It allows for more accurate staffing, standardized treatments, and fewer medication errors which will entirely re-existing existing medical practices. Institutions at the earliest stages of their data-driven medical practices. Transformation journeys can take encouragement from various success stories where we have already seen emerging technologies implemented successfully the Middle East.


Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi is one such example, becoming the UAE’s first hospital to achieve HIMSS (Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society) Stage 7. This model measures and advances an organization’s analytics, with Stage 7 meaning any given organization has robust analytics capabilities and uses the technology meaningfully. Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi has established a data-driven culture to better serve patients and is using cutting- edge IT solutions to improve operations. For example, the clinic has leveraged various AI applications to enhance patient care and support clinicians during the ongoing pandemic.

Similarly, in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), King Khaled Eye Specialist Hospital (KKESH) is one of four hospitals nationwide to achieve the HIMSS Stage 7 rating. Following successful digitalization, KKESH now analyzes medical data to bolster decision-making and facilitation processes. Moreover, the institution has fully digitized medical records and clinical services.

“Numerous Middle Eastern hospitals are pioneers in data-driven healthcare, and have proven strong examples for others to emulate,” continued Kharbanda. “For all their success, though, it is important for every player to appreciate that focusing solely on new technologies will not be enough to achieve the transformation they seek and require.

Eight drivers of data-driven healthcare that have been identified can yield positive and negative outcomes. The report details how technology trends provide an essential foundation for the next generation of innovations and examines the challenge behind making data relevant, actionable, available, and interoperable. Data security complexities, public- private par tnerships, digital ecosystems, and skills development are all crucial ingredients for success, as well as taking into account patient participation and change management issues in the healthcare industry.

“Admittedly, the patient care revolution is still in its infancy, and value creation will hinge on vast amounts of data being processed and secured in order to overcome challenges more quickly than was previously possible. However, the introduction of AI, big data analytics, and cloudification are three of the many aspects driving widespread optimism throughout the wider health sector, “concluded Dr. Patrick Linnenbank, Senior Advisor at Arthur D. Little Middle East. “Although there are many obstacles to overcome on one side of the data-driven spectrum, the other end will present an array of opportunities, and the coming decade represents a full period of possibilities and potential for Middle Eastern healthcare as a whole.”

About Arthur D. Little

Arthur D. Little has been at the forefront of innovation since 1886. We a r e a n acknowledged thought leader in linking strategy, innovation and transformation in technology-intensive and converging industries. We navigate our clients through changing business ecosystems to uncover new growth opportunities. We enable our clients to build innovation capabilities and transform their organizations.

Our consultants have strong practical industry experience combined with excellent knowledge of key trends and dynamics. ADL is present in the most important business centers around the world. We are proud to serve most of the Fortune 1000 companies, in addition to other leading firms and public sector organizations.