The UAE’s Healthcare Industry: A promising playground for global GenAI startups

June 27, 2024
9 Min Read

The Generative Artificial Intelligence (GenAI) market in the UAE is projected to reach $206M in 2024 and grow by 46.5% annually to reach $2B by 2030. The healthcare and life sciences industry, being a priority sector for the government of the UAE, is ready to tap into this technology to find innovative use cases across the value chain.

The Abu Dhabi healthcare ecosystem in particular has world class infrastructure, and advanced data and genomics platforms. This makes it a unique sandbox environment and launchpad for health and life sciences startups into this region and beyond.

The global landscape: Startups innovating with generative AI in healthcare

As GenAI evolves at a rapid pace, most startups find themselves in one of the following scenarios:

1. Startups that originally began with B2B healthcare solutions but now have expanded to add GenAI use cases.


Pieces Technologies started as a platform that provided integrated monitoring, prediction, workflow optimization and organizational learning services specifically for hospitals. In 2023, Pieces integrated GenAI technologies to support frontline workflows with note-taking, documentation, identifying discharge barriers, and predicting patient discharge.

2. Startups that began with healthcare AI products and have now added GenAI to their product offerings to enhance their value propositions.


OpenEvidence began as an AI-powered conversational search interface, offering rapid access to validated sources like journal abstracts and medical texts. OpenEvidence has recently developed ClinicalKey – a clinical decision support tool that combines the latest medical content with generative artificial intelligence. It is designed to aggregate, synthesize, and visualize evidence-based insights for point-of-care decision-making.

3. Startups that utilize either existing foundation models or build their own foundation models for novel healthcare use cases.

The Technology Adoption Quadrant

The use cases of GenAI in healthcare can be understood from the perspective of technological complexity and ease of adoption.

HealthX Cohort 1: Use-cases to transform UAE’s healthcare market

HealthX, a startup program, developed as a collaborative initiative between Department of Health and startAD, is an incredible opportunity to tap into the UAE market. It will focus on

A. Startups that address use-cases with less technological complexity and with evidence of easy adoption by healthcare providers

Example use cases

Solutions that optimize operations and processes: Automated billing and claims processing, Appointment Scheduling

Solutions that improve clinical workflows: Note-taking and patient
record updates, conversational articulation of complex medical queries

What are we looking for

  • Teams with significant sectoral domain expertise and insights
  • Strong customer understanding and customer networks
  • Novel AI / GenAI use cases and value proposition
  • Validated business models

B. Startups that address use-cases with low technological complexity but may have a longer adoption ramp

Example use cases

Decision Support and data generation for clinicians: Intelligent content search, real time database access

Population Health and Analytics: Early detection of potential pandemic, public health risks

Patient engagement and adherence: Creating affordable personalized, human-centric care

What are we looking for

  • Tech teams with proven track record and strong domain expertise armed with the knowledge of healthcare workflows and processes
  • Strong proprietary apps/technologies and value propositions
  • Novel GenAI use cases to scale existing impact/solution
  • Evidence of market traction

C. Startups that address use cases with complex technologies with a much longer market adoption ramp

Example use cases

Drug discovery and development: designing novel drug compounds, estimating promising drug targets

Data generation and simulations: Generating synthetic
medical data, Analyzing biological and chemical datasets, running complex simulations for novel compounds

What are we looking for

  • Tech teams with proven track-record and strong internal R&D capabilities
  • Healthcare companies leveraging foundational GenAI models/tailor-made AI models for specific use cases in healthcare
  • Companies with proprietary models / proprietary datasets

UAE Market Access: Simplified with HealthX

HealthX will allow GenAI ventures to hit the ground running in the UAE.

  • 6 weeks of training with insider information of the UAE market including a subsidized networking trip to Abu Dhabi
  • Access de-identified patient data to train and refine AI models
  • Potential to secure renowned hospital chains as customers and pitch at GITEX, largest tech event in the region
  • Licensing support and regulatory sandbox access from the Department of Health

To learn more about the program and the application process, click here.

Credit: This blogpost was authored in partnership with the Department of Health.

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