Abu Dhabi second in the world to adopt Population Health Model

Abu Dhabi’s Department of Health (DoH) has confirmed it has become the first healthcare regulator in the Middle East region – and the second in the world – to explore and adopt a Population Health Model (PHM). The model, which is being developed in collaboration with Switzerland’s Novartis, will be dedicated to cardiovascular diseases (CVDs), focusing on early detection, management, and prevention, the DoH announced.

“CVD is a major cause of death, hospitalisation, and low quality of life among patients. Therefore, it has become a key priority for the healthcare institutes in the United Arab Emirates [UAE] – and particularly DoH – to seek novel approaches to bend the curve of CVD events,” explained Mohamed Ezz Eldin, President and Head of Gulf Cluster at Novartis. “The PHM is a healthcare ecosystem alliance that provides a holistic approach towards transforming CVD patient management in the UAE.”

He continued: “DoH is set to become the second healthcare system globally after [the United Kingdom’s] NHS to explore the population approach, reinforcing its vision to foster innovation in the region. We are proud of this initiative which is part of a comprehensive mutual cooperation to add greater value to patients in Abu Dhabi.”


Novartis describes PHM as “an approach that supports local healthcare partnerships to use data to develop models of proactive, instead of reactive, care.”

It helps departments – such as local authorities, academia, industry leaders, and charities – analyse this data to better understand local issues, and thus work on tailored solutions to fulfil unmet healthcare needs.

CVDs are defined as a group of disorders of the heart and blood vessels, which include coronary heart disease, cerebrovascular disease, and peripheral arterial disease, amongst others.

According to the World Health Organisation, CVDs are the leading cause of death globally, claiming an estimated 17.9 million lives each year. That figure is expected to rise to around 23.6 million by 2030.

In the UAE, CVD reportedly contributes to an average 40% of all deaths, with its incidence increasing in young adults.

It is hoped that the PHM will contribute to “enhancing preventive measures against CVDs, and reducing the number of CVD cases and its complications among the emirate’s residents,” the DoH said in a statement. This is “by providing data that enables healthcare professionals to deliver the necessary recommendations and preventive programmes for patients.”


This latest announcement is in line with the DoH Abu Dhabi’s efforts to position the UAE capital “as a global healthcare destination and an incubator for innovation.”

The collaboration with Novartis “aims to invest in research, education, digital and organisational infrastructure to tackle CVDs and develop the emirate’s PHM programme.”


“With the guidance of our wise leadership and its directives, we continue to build strong and fruitful collaborations with partners from around the world to boost the healthcare system’s efficiency and maintain the health and safety of our community,” said H.E. Abdulla bin Mohamed Al Hamed, Chairman of DoH Abu Dhabi. “The Department will continue to adopt advanced innovations and partner with relevant entities to help achieve our goal in positioning the emirate as a global healthcare hub while enhancing the future of the healthcare system.”

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