Saudi partners with Philips as part of country’s mission to become leader in AI healthcare

The Saudi Data and Artificial Intelligence Authority (SDAIA) has partnered with Royal Philips to further support the Kingdom’s “goal of becoming a leader in driving artificial intelligence [AI] in healthcare,” it was announced.

This latest agreement will reportedly comprise Philips combining “AI with in-depth knowledge of clinical and operational context to develop integrated solutions that improve the performance and productivity of healthcare systems.” It aims to make top health technology available to Saudi Arabia’s data scientists and healthcare professionals in order to assist them with bringing more advanced healthcare to citizens, the SDAIA said in a statement.

“Saudi Arabia is witnessing a thorough developmental renaissance under the umbrella of Vision 2030 in all sectors, and at the forefront comes the technology-related fields,” said president of the SDAIA, Abdullah bin Sharaf Alghamdi. “We, at SDAIA, through the National Strategy for Data & AI [NSDAI], seek to fully utilise the potential of data and AI and support their applications in all relevant sectors. 

“This agreement is part of our efforts to promote advanced technologies in the health field, support expertise exchange, and develop national capabilities, which will enhance the quality of health services, create new job opportunities, and elevate our national economy to become a data and AI-driven economy.”

THE LARGER CONTEXT

In order to create an AI ecosystem for Saudi Arabia’s healthcare sector, the SDAIA outlined key areas that this latest partnership will focus on.

With the main focus being Philips helping to harness AI capabilities in healthcare on a national scale in support of Vision 2030, it will first establish a dedicated AI Knowledge Hub aimed at “elevating the local talent pool and expertise to develop local AI applications”.

Philips will also prioritise the introduction of health technology solutions that integrate AI into clinical workflows, such as the Philips IntelliSpace AI Workflow Suite – which enables the deployment of multiple AI applications on a single platform in healthcare facilities – and the Philips IntelliSpace Discovery, which works on facilitating the process of generating new AI applications through supporting data integration, training and deployment in research settings.

Finally, the partnership will also offer access to key opinion leaders from Philips’ top-level partners for knowledge exchange, research collaboration opportunities and support for the certification of new AI applications. 

It is hoped that partnerships such as this one would enable “new business opportunities around AI in healthcare that will drive a robust start-up culture,” the SDAIA said.

ON THE RECORD

“AI-based health technology solutions have great potential to improve patient outcomes and the efficiency of care delivery,” said Frans van Houten, CEO of Royal Philips. “Such solutions can for example free up valuable time for healthcare professionals to focus more on the patients.

“Getting every aspect of an AI-enabled solution right, requires extensive collaboration between clinicians, data scientists and other experts. That is why we are pleased to partner with the SDAIA to enable AI across all healthcare facilities in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia as part of Vision 2030.”

Mohamed Mostafa, general manager for health systems at Philips Middle East & Turkey added: “Philips brings global expertise that strategically fits SDAIA’s mission to unlock the value of data as a national asset to realise the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 aspirations and establish an AI-powered programme of excellence in the healthcare sector. 

“Our proven collaboration models, together with our solutions that integrate AI applications into clinical workflows, will empower Saudi Arabia’s health systems to achieve better health outcomes, improved patient and staff experiences, and lower cost of care. 

“We are positive that this collaboration between SDAIA and Philips will accelerate transformation of the kingdom’s healthcare sector.” 

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