As the world confronts a serious healthcare challenge caused by the fast-spreading COVID-19, The Department of Health-Abu Dhabi, National Health Insurance Company – Daman, The Authority of Social Contribution – Ma’an, Etihad Airways and seven large public and private Healthcare Providers (overseeing more than 90% of patient care in Abu Dhabi) have combined their efforts with Plug and Play ADGM to form the “Alliance to fight COVID-19” (“AFC-19”) to bring some of the best startups from across the globe to collaborate in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic across the region. AFC-19 is part of the Abu Dhabi Health Tech Accelerator.
The unprecedented challenges that the COVID-19 virus has brought upon the world have proven that the solidarity and efforts of the fast-acting healthcare industries; both the private and public, are very critical in providing solutions that mitigate the effects of the pandemic.
To implement DoH’s vision of a “Healthier Abu Dhabi”, Plug and Play helps to identify and attract the best local, regional, and international startups and tech companies.
For COVID-19, Plug and Play is providing a range of emergency response services, in addition to supporting the AFC-19 Members throughout this pandemic. These services include virtual webinars for knowledge/best practices exchange and adhoc startup sourcing from their local and global network within health, travel, enterprise solutions, supply chain, and logistics. Large Abu Dhabi healthcare providers and Daman will benefit from these services and ensure that innovative solutions will reach all patients in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi.
Mental wellness is a top concern for the community and those working at the frontline of our healthcare system. Through the Ma’an Social Incubator and as part of AFC-19, Ma’an are championing the discovery and acceleration of product or service-based solutions with social startups that can help the people of Abu Dhabi manage their stress, anxiety, fears, fatigue and other mental wellbeing challenges. With the diversity and unity of the AFC-19 members, Ma’an has ambitious targets to bring immediate mental and social relief to the Abu Dhabi community during the current health and economic challenges.
H.E Dr. Jamal Mohammed Al Kaabi, Acting Undersecretary of the Department of Health Abu Dhabi elaborates “DoH, Plug And Play and our strong partners in “Alliance to fight COVID-19” have risen to the challenge and banded together to fight against the COVID-19 outbreak. We are deeply convinced that we are ready to look beyond the horizon of today’s healthcare and find new innovative ways to control and manage the disease. We encourage startups to come forward with innovative technologies and solutions that can be leveraged to fight this virus,”.
H.E. Salama Al Ameemi, Director General of Ma’an, said: “Start-ups, social enterprises and non-profit associations have a vital role to play in making a positive social impact in Abu Dhabi, whether it is during the current challenges or more long term”.
“At Ma’an, we recognize that mental health is an extremely important social priority with, on average, 1 in 4 people suffering from a mental health challenge at some point in their life globally. In Abu Dhabi we are proud to be at the center of the conversation to understand the support communities need to cope with mental wellbeing challenges and find effective and workable solutions – through the Ma’an Social Incubator and through the new AFC-19 initiative. There has never been a more important and crucial time to accelerate the growth of start-ups working in this area and we look forward to working with our partners through Plug and Play ADGM to identify new ideas that can contribute to the national effort at this time.” Al Ameemi added.
The Deputy CEO of the National Health Insurance Company – Daman, Hamad Al Mehyas, said: “Daman is proud to partner with the Department of Health-Abu Dhabi, Plug and Play ADGM, and the wider healthcare sector on this important alliance. Since early February, Daman has been supporting government initiatives beginning with the national health awareness campaign where we worked with our corporate customers, comprising of the country’s largest employers, to ensure that they and their employees have the correct information to apply at work and at home. This alliance is another excellent opportunity to find more ways to support the overall national efforts to defeat this unprecedented health challenge.”
Juma Al Hameli, Senior Executive Director of Strategy and Business Development at ADGM, said: “As the implications of COVID-19 have become increasingly apparent, the UAE has proven to be a global leader and continues to prioritize the development of innovative solutions to curb the spread of the virus. Today, we are proud to witness the launch of the “Alliance to fight COVID-19” (“AFC-19”) initiative, as it brings together start-ups from around the globe to join the fight against the pandemic. ADGM is committed to supporting DoH and Plug and Play ADGM through its holistic business ecosystem and looks forward to welcoming start-ups from around the world who aim to make a positive impact in the midst of this turbulent time.”
Dr Nadia Bastaki, Vice President of Etihad Medical Services, said: “The health and safety of our employees and guests is of utmost importance to Etihad, and we are constantly looking at innovative solutions to ensure that we provide the best level of care to everyone flying with us. We look forward to working closely with DoH and fellow members of the Alliance to identify new technologies to help us overcome the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact.”
Babak Ahmadzadeh, Director at Plug and Play ADGM, said: “COVID-19 has shown that technology and innovation is not just a nicety, but an imperative to save lives, maintain social welfare and to keep businesses going. Plug and Play ADGM is privileged to bring these critical technologies to the Abu Dhabi market by supporting our partners and AFC-19 Members in discovering and developing valuable collaborations between exceptional local/international technology startups. The Abu Dhabi healthcare ecosystem is more united than ever to fight COVID-19. If you have a tech solution that may help our people in any way, we would like to help you”.
Abu Dhabi Health Tech Accelerator was founded in October 2019 by the Department of Health, Plug and Play, and Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) to attract innovators and technologies that can help to increase the quality of patient care and patient experience; improve access to healthcare and manage cost, and prevent and manage diseases affecting the UAE population.
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