MCIT, Huawei launch Kingdom’s first IoT Lab

A visitor tries an IoT device at the 2015 Internet of Things Solutions World Congress (IOTSWC) in Barcelona in 2015.
Updated 10 December 2018
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MCIT, Huawei launch Kingdom’s first IoT Lab

The Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT) and Huawei have announced the launch of the Kingdom’s first Internet of Things (IoT) lab and a fund of $1 million to support Saudi entrepreneurs. The announcement was made during the Huawei Day 2018 event held at The Ritz-Carlton, Riyadh.

The event was attended by Dr. Sulaiman Mirdad, minister adviser for IT industry development; Dennis Zhang, CEO of Huawei Saudi Arabia; and other representatives, including senior government officials, IT leaders and professionals.

The new lab will be located at Huawei’s innovation center in Riyadh and aims to provide entrepreneurs with a platform to innovate IoT applications, which will directly target the most important vertical sectors to the Kingdom.

This joint initiative between MCIT and Huawei is expected to boost the development of products and applications and promote an open and participatory IoT ecosystem. The new IoT lab is the first such innovation and development joint lab in Saudi Arabia. 

Under this cooperation, Huawei has also made available $1 million of funding to developers to accelerate the adoption of IoT in the Kingdom.

IoT development and innovation have transformed traditional industries and daily life. As hundreds of millions of IoT devices will be used for innovative services, the technology has a key role to play in digitalization across industries. Yet currently there is not much IoT adoption in Saudi Arabia, and there is a shortage in local skills and funding necessary to drive the sector forward. The lab is intended to bridge this gap, and ultimately to drive forward the Kingdom’s digital transformation forward and assist the leadership in achieving their vision of building a knowledge economy, in line with Saudi Vision 2030 and the National Transformation Plan 2020.

Dr. Ahmed Altheneyan, deputy minister for technology and digital capacities at MCIT, said: “We are proud to launch the Kingdom’s first IoT lab and fund with our partner Huawei, believing as we do that this initiative will help to promote ICT innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem, accelerate the adoption of emerging technology within the Kingdom, and support in developing the skillset and technology necessary to enable our vision and national transformation plan.”

Huawei Saudi Arabia CEO Zhang said: “Saudi Vision 2030 calls for the development of the Kingdom into an innovative and globally competitive economy through digital transformation, and our aim at Huawei is to support the success of this vision. 

We are committed to open innovation and collaboration to promote the IoT sector here in Saudi Arabia and we see the launch of this lab as another milestone in our strategic partnership with MCIT.”


Philips brings virtual cardiology network to KSA

Updated 19 February 2019
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Philips brings virtual cardiology network to KSA

Royal Philips, a health technology company, has teamed up with the Ministry of Health (MoH) in Saudi Arabia to provide a first-of-its-kind integrated cardiovascular information system (CVIS) across multiple facilities throughout the Kingdom. 

Patient medical information will be available on demand at the point of care in each of the connected hospitals to help improve quality access to cardiology care managed by a network of specialists. The Philips CVIS includes advanced software technology and image analysis to simplify cardiovascular data management for cardiology departments to work more efficiently and accurately. 

According to the World Health Organization, cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) are the No.1 cause of death globally. They are also highly prevalent in Saudi Arabia. Cardiology is also one of the most complex areas of the hospital enterprise, with large quantities of data generated by various caregivers across multiple locations. By integrating disparate cardiology systems in the public MOH cardiac centers around the Kingdom, the Philips CVIS aims to reduce data entry, simplify access to test results generated in other departments and make it easier to acquire, analyze and share patient data. 

The cardiology patient data information will be powered by Philips IntelliSpace Cardiovascular platform, featuring advanced archiving from the Philips Universal Data Manager (UDM) and advanced visualization from Philips IntelliSpace Portal. Seamless data sharing and connectivity between the hospitals will be managed by Philips Forcare, delivering information health exchange (IHE) interoperability.  

“With a dedicated health care IT clinical informatics team and leadership in connected care, Philips brings a wealth of experience into the cardiology program of the MOH,” said Ozlem Fidanci, market leader Middle East and Turkey at Philips. “This collaboration named as Project Taji marks a significant step by the Ministry of Health toward Saudi Vision 2030 and the elevation of cardiology services across the Kingdom.” 

The Taji Project will be implemented in Makkah, Jeddah, Al-Hofuf, Qassim, Jizan, Najran, Dammam and Arar. All these cities will be connected to the Ministry of Health in Riyadh to utilize tele-cardiology services among MOH cardiac centers. 

“The primary use of tele-cardiology is to support primary care practitioners in the area of correct diagnosis, thus empowering them to manage cardiac patients with increased confidence. It also improves the clinical training of the average practitioner, by increasing the clinician’s level of knowledge at the primary level. This will equip GPs to offer better care and improve the overall health care system,” said Dr. Ahmed Balkhair, adviser to the vice minister and general supervisor of e-health programs and IT.

“The MoH tele-cardiology initiative helps build up an integrated cardiovascular information system (CVIS), cardiac picture archiving and communications system (CPACS), and an ECG data management system, all of which will enhance the efficiency of the cardiology workflow for the cardiologists and all users, and access to patient studies by authorized users,” said Dr. Mohammed K. Abdulaali, assistant deputy minister for hospital affairs.