The Abu Dhabi Department of Health, the healthcare regulator, has signed an MOU (Memorandum of Understanding) with Abu Dhabi Health Data Services (ADHDS), the operator of Abu Dhabi’s Health Information Exchange (HIE) platform “Malaffi”, and MSD GCC, a leading biopharmaceutical company, to experiment with blockchain technology for pharmaceutical industry.

The MoU was signed by H.E. Dr. Noura Al Ghaithi, Undersecretary of the Department of Health – Abu Dhabi (DoH), Ashraf Mallak, Managing Director from MSD GCC, and Kareem Shahin, Acting CEO from ADHDS on the sidelines of Arab Health 2024.

As per the press release, the agreement will see the three entities come together and collaborate to assess blockchain potential, while utilizing the neutral platform of the PharmaLedger Association (PLA), a non-profit global organization, to assess the technology and framework potential to support Abu Dhabi in achieving its ambitious vision of fortifying its healthcare ecosystem.

MSD GCC will play a pivotal role in this collaboration by providing its thought leadership and leveraging its extensive experience with blockchain technology across various application areas and markets.

H.E. Dr. Noura Al Ghaithi, Undersecretary of the Department of Health – Abu Dhabi (DoH), said: “The Department of Health – Abu Dhabi’s (DoH) partnership with Abu Dhabi Health Data Services (ADHDS) and MSD GCC serves as a testament to our commitment of working alongside strategic partners within the healthcare sector, to shape a future driven by healthcare technology. This collaboration further solidifies the Department’s ongoing efforts in leveraging cutting-edge technology to enhance the population’s health and well-being, ultimately paving the way for improved healthcare outcomes, and advancing patient-centric care within the Emirate. These efforts further cement Abu Dhabi’s position as a leading destination for healthcare and a hub for life sciences.”

Kareem Shahin, Acting CEO of Abu Dhabi Health Data Services (ADHDS), stated: “One of the areas of interest for the application of this technology for Abu Dhabi is enhancing data security and goods traceability among others. We are thrilled to embark on this groundbreaking collaboration with the Department of Health – Abu Dhabi (DoH), and MSD GCC. ADHDS will be the driving force behind the technical aspects of this partnership, which includes spearheading the assessment of the potential of blockchain technology in the Emirate.”

Shahin added: “At ADHDS, we understand the critical importance of safeguarding patient information while enabling seamless data sharing for improved healthcare outcomes. With our expertise and experience in health data management, following the successful implementation of Malaffi as the first and foremost HIE in the MENA region, we are uniquely positioned to take the lead in delivering a robust and secure blockchain infrastructure that protects the privacy and integrity of health data in Abu Dhabi. We are excited about the possibilities this partnership holds for transforming the healthcare landscape in the Emirate and ensuring the highest standards of data security and interoperability.”

Ashraf Mallak, Managing Director, MSD GCC  noted, “On its part, MSD will be bringing to the table its strategic expertise and extensive experience in the application of blockchain technology within the healthcare sector across various areas and markets. At MSD GCC, we recognise the immense potential of blockchain in revolutionizing healthcare delivery and data security as we are committed to providing our strategic insights, knowledge, and advice to drive the advancement of blockchain usage in the healthcare sector in the Emirates.”