H.H. Sheikh Hamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan attended the second of this year’s Majlis Mohamed bin Zayed Ramadan lectures, titled ‘Charting New Paths in Healthcare Technology.’

The lecture, which took place in the Majlis Mohamed bin Zayed venue at Abu Dhabi’s Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, was presented by Dr Catherine Mohr, President of the Intuitive Foundation.

Over the course of her lecture, Dr Mohr focused on what she termed the ‘intersection of technology and healthcare,’ discussing the advantages of robotic surgery, the use of AI and machine learning, and their benefit to patients, doctors and students.

Dr Mohr explored how emerging technologies can help solve the so-called ‘wicked problems,’ those with a big gap between what the clinician wants to be able to do for their patient and what is actually possible.

She used the example of diagnosing and treating lung cancer, giving details of a new technique combining a robotic catheter with machine learning algorithms that allows doctors to explore the bronchial tree, take biopsies and even remove tumours, drastically cutting treatment time and without the need for invasive surgery.

The lecture then turned to education and the opportunities afforded by technology, for instance the ability to analyse data from millions of procedures because robotic surgery allows the surgeon’s movements to be observable. Explaining how this can benefit student doctors, she said, “We start to be able to characterise and understand expertise, and that helps us teach it.”

Dr Mohr went on to discuss the challenge of training a sufficient number of surgeons to treat the growing population, and how AI-based technologies could enable surgical training to be scaled exponentially, especially in some ‘low tech’ environments. She said clinicians could teach themselves skills using AI, which would assess their progress and provide immediate feedback.

The lecture was moderated by Dr Mishal AlQasimi, CEO of the Capital Health Specialised Rehabilitation Hospital and Health Shield Medical Center. It featured pre-recorded contributions from Dr Jorge Guzman, President and Chief Executive Officer at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi; Prof Humaid Alshamsi, Consultant and Director of Oncology at Burjeel Medical City; Dr Muna Tahlak, President of the International Hospital Federation; and Dr Walid Zaher, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer at Carexso.

‘Charting New Paths in Healthcare Technology’ will be broadcast on Saturday 23 March at 5pm on local TV networks and will be available to watch afterwards on the Majlis Mohamed bin Zayed YouTube channel (youtube.com/@MajlisMohamedbinZayed).