OuluHealth and Oulu’s health companies at the place where global healthcare meets innovators

Arab Health is recognised as the largest healthcare exhibition and medical congress in the Middle East. The event held annually at the end of January at the Dubai World Trade Centre, in the United Arab Emirates, attracts healthcare professionals, medical equipment manufacturers, hospital representatives, and health companies from around the world. Visitors can expect to see solutions that range from healthcare products to technologies, connect to a platform used for sharing expertise through conference sessions, and seize new business opportunities through pre-scheduled meetings.  This year, the event was enjoyed also by the OuluHealth ecosystem and Finnish health technology companies looking to expand.

Arab Health – the event that rose from desert sand and became a major center of future health

According to Jorge Fernández Gates, Senior Advisor at Business Finland, the Gulf market is one of the most stable regions in the world, which proves positive economic growth. Continuous efforts of the government in Dubai to improve the health of its citizens and a growing number of private medical facilities bring business opportunities worth looking into. Business Finland has been actively supporting market entry activities also in this region.

‘The services Business Finland offers to companies include identifying and cross-checking distributors, hosting business delegation visits, facilitating meetings with hospital and health centre representatives, connecting to potential customers, supporting market entry, side visits organised as part of trade fairs and other events,’ explained Gates.

The UAE aims to have one of the top ten healthcare systems in the world by 2030. To achieve this goal, there are currently a few ongoing investment plans to modernise and especially to digitise the health sector. These initiatives bring business opportunities, for example, to Finnish healthtech companies and Arab Health is the place to explore them.

‘There is potential for our company in the markets of countries like UAE, as they feature high demand for technology solutions used for treating chronic patients. In addition, these countries are heavily investing in healthcare.  Arab Health is the event for us to find, for example, prospects and local partners whose product offerings we can complement’, said Mika Sipilä, CEO, ProWellness Health Solutions.

Arab Health began years ago with just a few exhibitors presenting their products but evolved quickly into a global event that will celebrate its 50th anniversary next year. The event is considered by many entrepreneurs as a springboard to expansion to the Middle East. In addition to the impact on the health industry, it fosters partnerships and sharing of knowledge worldwide. By offering to companies an opportunity to present their products, Arab Health drives innovation and attracts investments. This year, participants enjoyed a wide selection of seminars, lively debates, and impressive infrastructure. There were also a few novel concepts introduced, such as Interoperability and Smart Hospital Zones. One of the main goals remained networking with participants interested in the markets of the Middle East and those looking for information about the latest advancements in health technology.

The Finland Pavilion

Most of the visitors at the Arab Health exhibition were looking for something unique, the solutions that have the potential to revolutionise health care. What attracted the greatest deal of attention was the innovations that improve health not just healthcare, help to care for people not just patients, and focus on prevention not just cure.

The Finland Pavilion located in hall eight hosted the OuluHealth ecosystem and twelve Finnish innovators, three of them being from Oulu. A few other companies from Finland were also present at the stands located independently in other halls. Delivered by Wulff Entre and coordinated by Business Finland, the Pavilion saw steady traffic as visitors gathered to interact with OuluHealth and health companies showcasing their solutions. Medanets presented an app for nurses, which enables immediate data monitoring and faster observation of any changes in the patient’s condition, simplifies nursing routines, supports decision-making, and releases time to care. ProWellness Health Solutions engaged in discussions about health IT solutions for the prevention, care, and management of chronic diseases, including diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, endocrine disorders, COPD, and other chronic respiratory diseases. Cerenion showcased the C-Trend® EEG analysis software, which provides a new level of ease and confidence in monitoring the neurophysiological status of acutely ill patients, including cardiac arrest survivors. Optomed offered fundus imaging solutions including a handheld camera.

Oulu-based companies attending the event enjoyed a variety of networking events and took part in a prestigious business meeting in the Private Office of Al Maktoum. During the meeting, the companies had an opportunity to present their solutions and discuss potential cooperation with the office representatives.

‘At Arab Health we were looking for promising contacts with distributors. It was also a good platform for us to hold meetings with already existing clients. The event was surprisingly successful to us as we gained a lot of new business leads,’ explained Arto Peura, Sales Manager at Optomed.

‘The event was a success as it exceeded all our prior expectations. Representatives from 70+ different organizations and companies visited our booth showing genuine interest in our innovation. Probably the biggest number of visitors of all exhibitions we have ever participated in.  We are very interested in joining next year,’ added Sipilä.

Connecting so many brilliant minds and aiming to transform healthcare, Arab Health once again proved to be a truly engaging event. It served as a perfect platform for professionals to stay informed about the latest developments in the industry. It facilitated connecting the healthcare sector in the Middle East with the rest of the world. Arab Health was undoubtedly not to be missed if you are into learning about the latest solutions, networking, and expanding your business.

Text and images: Joanna Seppänen, Health & Life Science, BusinessOulu