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 In 2021, the UAE launched its Centennial Plan 2071, a 5-decade roadmap that will position the country among the global leaders in education, economic performance, technology, and quality of life.

And, in its plan to become the best country in the world, the UAE is focusing more than ever on providing high-quality healthcare to all citizens, boosting its medical tourism, and adopting new digital health technologies. 

 This long-term strategy has already begun to transform the country’s healthcare – in more than one way.

Finding Health Insurance in the UAE Through Online Marketplaces

Since the healthcare reforms introduced in the early 2000s, both residents and citizens of the UAE are required by law to have at least basic medical insurance cover. 

 Packages such as Dubai’s Essential Benefits Plan (EBP), which vary in price between AED 650 and AED 725 ($176-197) per annum, are designed to make quality healthcare more accessible and affordable.

 However, it is only thanks to the recent adoption of Insurtech tools that Emiratis and expats can compare and find health insurance plans tailored to their needs.

 For example, shopping for health insurance at Insurance Market – a new virtual marketplace for insurance policies – helps individuals with chronic conditions and specific needs to find individualized health coverage.

Telehealth and Digital Health are Driving Better Outcomes, at a Lower Cost

The adoption of telehealth and digital health technologies is playing a vital role in reducing disease burden and healthcare costs while boosting care accessibility and affordability. So, it isn’t surprising that digital healthcare expenditure in the Middle East has been consistently on the rise since 2016 and it is now covering a prominent role in the UAE’s healthcare system. 

Some of the key telehealth tools transforming the industry include 24/7 phone consultations, free mobile applications to communicate and send photos to healthcare providers, and the Dubai Health Authority’s cloud-based Augmented Reality virtual assistance platform.

Blockchain Technologies Are Powering Smart Data Storage and Analytics

While the healthcare sector is more reliant than ever on data and Big Data, data breaches and ransomware attacks are increasing in intensity and frequency. 

In response to this growing risk, the UAE’s Ministry of Health and Prevention (MoHAP) launched a new blockchain-based data storage system to boost the security and accessibility of health and patient data, health services, pharmaceutical information, and intelligence about emerging trends.

Wearables and IoMD Is Fuelling Disease Prevention

Wearable devices and the Internet of Medical Things (IoMT) are two essential tools helping define the future of UAE’s healthcare by supporting the development of a healthcare system that focuses on prevention, rather than cure. 

New IoMT technologies enable remote patient monitoring, treatment and medication tracking, and crisis prevention, which can reduce the cost of emergency care and ongoing treatments for long-term and chronic conditions. 

These new tools, alongside mHealth and wearable devices, are relieving the healthcare and disease burden in the UAE while helping hospitals and clinics meet the demand of a population whose life expectancy grew from 60 in 1970 to nearly 78 in 2019.

A Growing Network of Internationally Accredited Medical Facilities

If the UAE is securing its position as a global healthcare leader it is also thanks to its world-class network of hospitals and medical facilities. According to official statistics, in 2017, the public and private sectors combined offered 143 hospitals, over 23,100 physicians, and nearly 54,000 nurses. 

What’s more, the UAE is the first country in the world to obtain international accreditation by the Joint Commission International (JCI) for over 200 health facilities, which makes the country well-prepared to provide health services to its large population of expats.

While the healthcare sector in UAE is in continuous evolution and set to report the greatest changes over the next five decades, new technologies have already confirmed the country’s role as a global healthcare frontrunner.