The United Arab Emirates’ APEX National Investment, a leading investment firm in the federation, signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Israel’s Sheba Medical Center, the largest hospital facility in the country, to collaborate on healthcare tech and innovation solutions.
The deal was announced on Thursday and a signing ceremony is expected later this month in the UAE’s capital Abu Dhabi.
The two parties said they will cooperate on key medical challenges ranging from battling COVID-19 and medical education and research through medical tourism, and the future of hospital care. Newsweek recently named Sheba among the 10 best hospitals in the world for the second consecutive year.
A key part of the agreement will be Sheba’s “Gulf” initiative based on the medical center’s ARC (Accelerate Redesign Collaborate) model to incorporate innovation into medical centers and new digital health technologies into the healthcare ecosystem. The project “will highlight a physical hub, a specialized team, leading startups, comprehensive data infrastructure and an expansive network needed to springboard innovation in the region and beyond,” the parties said in a joint statement.
APEX and ARC will harness healthcare data from the UAE, Israel, and other partners through ARC’s big data and computational capabilities, and integrate international technologies with partners and customers via tailored programs.
APEX National Investment Chairman Khalifa Khoury said 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.”
Sheba Medical Center’s Director-General Professor Yitshak Kreiss said the hospital was “proud to be the first Israeli hospital to sign such an historic agreement with a renowned company in the UAE.”
Kreiss said he believes the agreement “will change the dynamics of healthcare and innovation in the UAE and act as a harbinger of ‘peace and prosperity’ in the Gulf region and beyond, where hope knows no boundaries.”
Israel and the UAE announced a US-brokered normalization pact last month that paves a path for the federation to become the third Arab country to sign a peace agreement with Israel, after Egypt and Jordan. The development was greeted with excitement and hope and a number of deals between private companies are already in the works.
Last week, Israel reached its first formal agreement with the UAE on the national level, signing a banking MoU that will see a joint committee set up to advance cooperation in finances and investments in the capital market.