The Middle Eastern healthcare industry has experienced tremendous growth and change over the last few years. As local economies have evolved and demographics are shifting, countries across the region have made healthcare a focal point in their progress.
Nothing has fueled this progress more than technology, which enables healthcare providers to deliver “smart” medical care to their patients and improve outcomes. Technology has also played a major role in the development of personalized healthcare, providing people across the Middle East with more tools to manage their own health.
Let’s look at some of the startups that are using technology to transform healthcare in the Middle East.
Established in 2008, 3eesho is a website designed to raise public awareness about health. The site features articles on nearly any health-related topic, from personal development and weight loss to diet and maternal health. The majority of the content is authored by certified specialists and other experts on each topic.
Not only can people find useful health information on 3eesho, but they can also connect with others in the online community. Leveraging social media tools, the site allows users to make friends and join groups. 3eesho also features a question and answer section where users can find responses to health-related queries.
The UAE is experiencing an obesity crisis. Childhood diabetes is becoming an especially pressing matter as the number of overweight and obese children rises each year. Entrepreneur Faisal Al Hammadi sought to address this issue with his startup, Yacob. The company has developed an innovative software that schools and parents can use to track and monitor what children are eating each day. Parents can log in to the Yacob dashboard and look at their children’s daily menus and the nutritional value of each item.
Yacob is more than a nutritional tracker; it leverages artificial intelligence to encourage children to become more active in their daily lives. Al Hammadi has launched his platform at 45 schools across the UAE, where it is helping children, parents, and educators make better, healthier decisions.
HeyDoc! is making healthcare more accessible by connecting people with doctors through a mobile application. The startup has built an international network of physicians who offer their services through the platform. HeyDoc! appointments range from USD $10 to $50 in price and are facilitated through video chat, text message, or voice notes. This gives patients with non-emergency medical issues the opportunity to receive care in a confidential, secure manner, no matter where they live.
Users can find physicians based on their medical specialty, so whether they need a chiropractic consultant or general practitioner, they can find the healthcare professional who best suits their needs. Users can review each physician’s profile, certifications, and feedback from other users before making an appointment.
Doctors also benefit from using HeyDoc! to see patients. The platform allows them to join for free, helping them monetize patient interactions more quickly. HeyDoc! also features its physicians in marketing materials, effectively giving them a global advertising platform.
Nabta is a healthcare platform that focuses solely on women in the Middle East. Based in Kuwait, the startup has developed a website through which women can access clinical advice and information on a variety of health issues. From childbirth to menopause, Nabta helps users navigate any medical event in their lives.
Available both online and via a mobile app, Nabta makes it easier than ever for Arab women to manage their health. The platform regularly posts informational articles and leverages artificial intelligence to deliver recommendations to each user.
Nabta has also developed a suite of mobile apps to enable women to take charge of their own healthcare. Nabta Bud, for example, guides users through pregnancy with wellness tips, support, and answers to common pregnancy questions. The platform is also developing Nabta Care, an app that will allow users to make appointments with physicians and consult with them via mobile devices.
A participant at the 2019 STEP Conference, pulseH is a personal health assistant for people in the Middle East. This platform provides a place to consolidate users’ health information from a variety of sources, whether it is stored at their doctor’s office or stuffed in a box at home. Users can scan health reports, prescriptions, vaccination cards, and other documents into a central location. This digital storage solution is both more secure and more accessible, so the information is always ready if it’s needed during an appointment. pulseH also leverages security tools to ensure full compliance with HIPAA and GDPR regulations.
In addition, pulseH boasts a feature that prompts users to take their medication on time. This reminder also includes other important facts about their prescription, such as the dosage and the condition the medicine treats. Users can also connect their wearables to pulseH. The app will regularly track vitals such as blood glucose and blood pressure so users and their doctors can monitor trends over time.