Over 2,000 digital health stakeholders from across the Middle East descend on Riyadh for the most influential healthcare conference in the region

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia, Oct. 22, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — The five day conference with over 2,000 registered attendees saw a number of educational sessions with experienced speakers from across the globe, together with a series of workshops, award ceremonies and an interactive exhibition floor, featuring over 30 leading companies. The HIMSS Saudi Arabia Conference and Exhibition 2018 was organised by the Ministry of Health of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the Saudi Health Council, the Saudi Commission for Health Specialties, and HIMSS Middle East.

This unique event addressed best practices, practical solutions and cutting edge developments in the digital health ecosystem. Manal Almalki, PhD, of Jazan University in Saudi Arabia, said: “This conference brings a lot of value to the Saudi society and community. HIMSS serves the community of IT and health by bringing them together, let them discuss and talk about the use and the best practices using information and technology for transforming health, improving the healthcare system and its delivery. I have heard people talking about virtual clinic, cloud computing, blockchain and many more topics equally important for the transformation of health into a digital environment.”

Awards and recognitions for digital excellence

On Wednesday 11 October, John Daniels announced the hospitals and organizations from across the Middle East who have achieved Stage 6 or 7 from a number of the HIMSS Analytics Maturity and Adoption Models. Over the last year, eight different hospitals and health care organizations from across the Middle East have jointly achieved excellence in a number of maturity models, including: the Electronic Medical Record Adoption Model (EMRAM), the Outpatient Electronic Medical Record Adoption Model (O-EMRAM), the Adoption Model for Analytics Maturity (AMAM), the Digital Imaging Maturity Model (DIAM), and the Continuity of Care Maturity Model (CCMM). Reaching these levels of maturity implies establishing clear goals for improving safety, minimizing errors, and recognizing the importance of information and technology in healthcare.

In addition, the HIMSS-Elsevier Digital Healthcare Awards, now in its fourth Middle Eastern edition, recognised the UAE Ministry of Health and Prevention as the winner of this year’s award for its project, “Universal Newborn Critical Congenital Heart Disorders (CCHD) Screening in MOHAP Maternity Hospitals”, which standardizes CCHD screening to ensure all babies are tested positive after screening, and to receive critical interventions in a timely and safe manner.

Highlights: 2030 Vision and disruptive technologies

One of the most highly anticipated sessions during HIMSS Saudi Arabia 2018 was the “2030 Visionary Innovation in Healthcare Transformation”. Amongst other speakers, Dr. Sadek Al Shouli MD MBA MPH, CEO, Dal Digital Health Solution & Information Technology highlighted the need to have healthcare organizations adopting up-to-date, innovative strategies and addressed some of the challenges they could all face, working towards a common goal for high-quality patient care.

Recent scientific and technological advances in the healthcare sector were also presented during the conference. So-called disruptive technologies such as Artificial Intelligence and Precision Medicine that could affect patients, doctors and services were all brought to the table, encouraging thought-provoking discussions.

Roadmap for 2019

Charles Alessi, Chief Clinical Officer at HIMSS, announced the launch of a new initiative in the Middle East: the “Future50 Community”, which aims to identify and bring together the top 50 digital health leaders in the region. Once identified, this community will work alongside HIMSS and many partners to overcome current and future systemic health challenges. These 50 individuals will influence the potential of digital health to improve healthcare for all of us. The Future50 community will be encouraged to share expertise, collaborate over borders and foster innovation both individually and as a group. Nomination process and eligibility criteria will be announced shortly.

Next year’s annual conference will be in the fall and will be hosted in Jeddah, KSA on 2-5 November 2019. HIMSS Middle East looks forward to gathering digital health stakeholders again next year 2019.


HIMSS is a global advisor and thought leader supporting the transformation of health through information and technology. As a mission driven non-profit, HIMSS offers a unique depth and breadth of expertise in health innovation, public policy, workforce development, research and analytics to advise global leaders, stakeholders and influencers on best practices in health information and technology. Through our innovation companies, HIMSS delivers key insights, education and engaging events to healthcare providers, governments and market suppliers, ensuring they have the right information at the point of decision. As an association, HIMSS encompasses more than 72,000 individual members and 630 corporate members. We partner with hundreds of providers, academic institutions and health services organizations on strategic initiatives that leverage innovative information and technology. Together, we work to improve health, access and the quality and cost-effectiveness of healthcare. Headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, HIMSS serves the global health information and technology communities with focused operations across North America, Europe, United Kingdom, the Middle East and Asia Pacific. www.himssme.org