GE Healthcare is showcasing its portfolio of healthymagination solutions as well as advanced healthcare technologies that help promote earlier diagnosis and management of lifestyle diseases, at the International Conference on Healthy Lifestyles & Non-Communicable Diseases in the Arab World and Middle East held in Saudi Arabia.
The global conference is organized from September 10 to 12 in Riyadh under the patronage of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud by the Saudi Ministry of Health and the World Health Organization. In addition to over 15 Health Ministers from across the Middle East, the conference is hosting eminent healthcare professionals from across the world, and focuses on the implementation of the UN Declaration on Non-Communicable Diseases in the region.
As Strategic Partner of the conference, GE will showcase its advanced range of magnetic resonance (MR) imaging, computed tomography (CT) solutions, ultrasound technologies, life care solutions and modern x-ray equipment, several of them certified under healthymaginationTM – GE’s industry leading initiative to enhance access to high quality healthcare for more people at lower costs. The technologies presented are also in line with GE Healthcare’s focus on preventative health, where the emphasis is on early diagnosis that will potentially make treatment more effective and reduce overall healthcare bills.
Ali Saleh, President & CEO of GE Healthcare in Saudi Arabia, said: “We are thankful to the Ministry of Health for this opportunity to be a Strategic Partner in such an important healthcare initiative. This partnership reflects the Kingdom's commitment to the United Nation’s declaration for the prevention and control of non-communicable diseases, adopted by the Heads of State and Government in September 2011. For more than 25 years, GE Healthcare has been closely associated with delivering advanced technologies to the medical sector in the Kingdom. With the roll out of healthymagination in Saudi Arabia in 2010, we are placing a stronger emphasis on promoting and implementing a healthier lifestyle through proactive diagnosis and early care.”
He added: “Our healthymagination strategy complements the goals of the Ninth Development Plan of Saudi Arabia to enhance the operational efficiencies of the healthcare sector and to provide more access to quality healthcare for a larger number of Saudi nationals. Simultaneously, we are also focused on strengthening the competencies of Saudi healthcare professionals by providing intensive training on a number of frontier fields including clinical, technical and leadership trainings.”
GE Healthcare’s range of solutions are particularly relevant for Saudi Arabia and the wider Gulf region, which is witnessing an increase in healthcare bills led by the rising population and growing incidence of non-communicable diseases such as cardiovascular diseases, cancer, diabetes and chronic respiratory diseases in parallel with the rise of obesity, smoking and a sedentary lifestyle.
“There is considerable pressure on the region’s healthcare systems to meet the demand for timely and effective care. To improve healthcare efficiencies and ultimately provide a better outcome for patients, it is critical not only to bring in advanced technologies but to also emphasize health awareness, disease prevention and early diagnosis,” added Saleh. “Through our participation in the Conference, we are committed to contributing towards the Saudi Ministry of Health’s efforts to increase awareness of non-communicable diseases and to supporting strategies to address them.”
In line with these goals, GE Healthcare most recently joined hands with the Saudi Ministry of Health and other entities to launch mobile clinics as part of the Breast Cancer Screening Program in Riyadh, held under the patronage of Her Royal Highness Princess Hessa Al-Shaalan, wife of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques.
With over 20,000 GE healthcare technologies serving nearly 90 percent of the hospitals in the Kingdom today, GE has been working closely with the Ministry of Health to help build a sustainable healthcare model under healthymagination.
To promote a healthier lifestyle across the Kingdom, GE conducted a survey in 2010 to study the health behavior and attitudes of people in relation to health topics. Based on the findings, GE adapted their successful collaborative digital platform www.healthymagination.me  for the Saudi market, tailoring the content and approach for the habits and preferences of the country. GE Healthcare has been working with the Ministry of Health to strengthen awareness of healthymagination through various public outreach channels. In addition, GE has also launched an application on the Arabic iTunes store which provides general healthy lifestyle tips.
GE Healthcare has to date provided training to more than 3,000 healthcare professionals in the Kingdom and also helped transform the Operating Theatres at 16 Ministry of Health hospitals through tools and methodologies aimed at enhancing operational efficiencies. GE Healthcare has also helped the Ministry transform the Emergency Department across four hospitals by focusing on patient safety initiatives and introducing clinical and operational best practices.