By Shane McGinley
Kuwait, Saudi, Qatar interested in high-tech health clinics - Ambassador.
Patients in the Middle East with hand and finger defects may soon be fitted with bionic fingers and hands after it was announced that a UK-based company is looking at setting up a network clinics in the region.
The technology behind the ‘robotic’ hands and fingers that look and act like the real thing, was demonstrated to the Ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, during his visit to the Arab Health Exhibition and Congress.
“I was able to show Sheikh Mohammed that the hands function not just on a cosmetic basis but you can, for example, grip a cup of hot tea,” said UK Business Ambassador Lord Darzi, a surgeon in the field of robotics, a former government health minister and the keynote speaker on robotic surgery at Arab Health.
The technology was being exhibited by Touch Bionics, the UK developer behind the innovation. Guarav Mishra, international business development director for Touch Bionics, said the company plans to expand in the Middle East and has had expressions of interest from Saudi Arabia, Iran, Jordan, Qatar and Kuwait.
“We are also exploring the possibility of our own clinical centre in the region to train people in the technology as well as clinically treat them,” he added.
Iraqi-born Ara Warkes Darzi, who received his medical training in Ireland and moved to the UK in 1990, was awarded a knighthood for his services to medicine and surgery and became a life peer in the House of Lords, the upper house of the UK Parliament, as Baron Darzi of Denham.
The UK’s Imperial College London is partnering with Qatar Science and Technology Park in setting up the Qatar Robotic Surgery Centre. “We are delighted to be working with Qatar on what is going to be a regional centre for robotic surgery and we hope there will be areas of joint innovation,” Lord Darzi said.
Arab Heath 2010, is taking place at Dubai World Trade Centre until Thursday, January 28 and features around 2,700 exhibitors from 70 countries.