AED1 million fund for youth-led medical innovation projects


ABU DHABI, 18th August, 2019 (WAM) -- Two groups of Emirati students are set to become groundbreaking figures in UAE’s healthcare industry, after it was announced that their medical start-up projects would be advanced from incubation to acceleration.

The announcement comes following the students’ involvement in Al Bayt Mitwahid Association and VPS Healthcare’s ‘Future Medical Stars’, an innovative healthcare initiative which focuses on providing highly talented Emirati students with opportunities that will help shape the future of the UAE’s medical healthcare.

Commenting on the programme, Abdullah Al Neyadi, Board Member of Al Bayt Mitwahid Association, said, "We at Al Bayt Mitwahid Association passionately believe in investing in Emirati talent to produce industrial advancement that will shape the future of medical healthcare. Grassroots development is imperative towards achieving the country’s leadership directive of the UAE Vision 2021 National Agenda, which aims to create a world-class healthcare system."

In 2018, the respective start-ups, ‘Polka’ an artificial intelligence-powered learning platform that imitates human conversation for specific medical topics, and ‘We Heart’, an artificial intelligence-driven learning visual recognition platform that monitors an individual’s eyes during tasks such as driving, were part of a AED1 million incubation fund, which will now be advanced to a new AED1 million acceleration fund by VPS Healthcare.

Dr. Shamsheer Vayalil, Chairman and Managing Director of VPS Healthcare, said, "We were confident of the viability of these ideas, right at the finals of the Business Plan Competition held last year with the support of our Future Medical Stars partner Al Bayt Mitwahid."

Sultan Al Suwaidi, Future Medical Stars student and team leader on the Polka start-up, explained the intricacies of the platform by noting, "At its core, Polka is an algorithm that is powered by AI. The intelligence allows users to get information about symptoms associated with ailments and the need for seeking medical care based on the education the algorithm identifies and provides."

Future Medical Stars is an ongoing initiative that continues to optimise Emirati participation in UAE’s medical field, in alignment with the program’s aim of increasing the number of Emiratis in the healthcare sector by 10,000 people.

WAM/Rola Alghoul/Nour Salman