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Israeli healthcare giant agrees technology deal with UAE

Director-General Yitshak Kreiss (L) outside Israel's Sheba Medical Center [Getty]

Date of publication: 10 September, 2020

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Israel's Sheba Medical Center will ink a deal with UAE's APEX National Investment to develop a range of health technology, and said more deals with Gulf states are underway
A leading Israeli hospital has signed a preliminary deal with an Emirati investment firms in order to promote a range of healthcare technology in the UAE and wider Gulf region, the two companies announced on Thursday.

The memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the Sheba Medical Center and APEX National Investment is a first between an Israeli hospital and an Emirati company, following last month's announcement that the UAE and Israel would establish full diplomatic relations.

Yoel Hareven, the director of Sheba International at Sheba Medical Center, said the agreement will enable medical innovation, professional training, medical tourism and Covid-19 treatment.

He said the final agreement is set to be signed around 21 September in the UAE.

"We've embedded existing Israeli telemedicine (remote treatment) technology which allows us to provide medical care to coronavirus patients while minimising risk to the medical teams - this is of great interest to the Emirates," he said.

The agreement seeks to establish an "innovation hub" in the Gulf using Sheba's expansive data infrastructure.

Other joint projects include development of artificial intelligence, precision medicine, virtual and augemented reality, and digital innovations in surgery and rehabilitation.

"The agreement reflects the extent of the two countries' interest in developing and reaching the highest standards in the field of health to serve the people in the region, as well as an extension of both states’ efforts in developing cutting-edge innovation in the medical field," said Khalifa Khoury, APEX national investment chairman.

Professor Yitshak Kreiss, the director-general of Sheba, said the agreement was reached after a year of negotiations.

Kreiss attended the "Peace for Prosperity" summit in Bahrain in June 2019, organised by the White House to encourage business opportunities between Israel and Arab nations as part of Trump's so-called "Deal of the Century".

He said Sheba has been working with other Gulf states but did not want to "endanger the relationships" by giving further details.

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