Dubai welcomes Region’s Healthcare leaders assemble to outline latest developments

.

DUBAI: Improving turnaround time for laboratory results, testing for imminent heart attacks and detecting cervical cancer are just some of the important topics discussed at the 4th annual Roche Days conference. Roche Days, presented by Roche Diagnostics Middle East, is a platform for key opinion leaders throughout the region. More than 300 of the region’s medical experts in the in-vitro diagnostics (IVD) industry in the Middle East were hosted over the weekend.

The conference was inaugurated by Sheikha Rasha Al Qassimi, Phd, Food Science and Technology (UK) and Assistant Director General of Public Health and Central Laboratories, Sharjah Municipality, assisted by Harald Wolf, General Manager, Roche Diagnostics Middle East. Roche Days was held as part of Roche Diagnostics’ commitment to providing continued medical education and highlighting regional expertise to share knowledge and discuss challenges as well as solutions in diagnostics particularly in the areas of cardiovascular diseases, women’s health such as cervical cancer, and laboratory automation.

“Through our Roche Days, we were able to cascade the many benefits of laboratory automation in the industry and allow for cross-border collaboration to bring together the brightest minds in the region to discuss challenges and solutions. We live in a fast-paced period when technology continues to bring greater benefits for us. Roche Diagnostics leads the way in in-vitro diagnostics in terms of research and innovation to provide the broadest range of laboratory solutions which dramatically improve turnaround time for tests and results, provide efficiency, quality and safety,” said Mr. Wolf.

A particular focus of this year’s Roche Days was on laboratory automation and more efficient laboratory procedures to release diagnostic information to physicians faster while also reducing error and sample contamination. With automation, Dr. Amid Abdelnour, Chief Executive Officer – Biolab, Jordan, noted that a remarkable increase in patient safety as well as productivity and capacity are being observed upon implementation in laboratories.

Safe, rapid diagnosis
Innovations in diagnostics also paved the way for testing heart attacks faster with more precise and reliable results. It is estimated that 23.6 million will die by 2030 from cardiovascular diseases and accurate early detection and intervention is crucial. With high-sensitivity assays, doctors are now able to improve the detection of myocardial injury (detection at earlier time) and can help identify risk of cardiovascular diseases (prediction of adverse outcomes).

Dr. Rabih Azar, Professor of Medicine, St. Joseph University, Chief of Cardiology Research, Division of Cardiology – Hotel Dieu de France Hospital, Lebanon, noted that with available high-sensitive test, a safe and rapid diagnosis can be done within one hour observation time which is faster than the usual 3-6 hours of observation using the conventional diagnostic approach. This was discussed extensively during the acute coronary syndrome panel session on cardiology including Dr. Laila Abdel-Wareth of Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi, among others.

In terms of women’s health, cervical cancer remains a challenge across the region due to lack of awareness among women and – until recent years – the lack of a specific diagnostics tests or screening. While cervical cancer is highly preventable, approximately 500,000 new cases worldwide are diagnosed every year.i With advanced diagnostic tools available today, doctors can improve the ability to detect cervical cancer early to prevent development and progression of the disease.

Dr. Hisham Shams, Group Medical Director at Alborg Medical Laboratories, Saudi Arabia, brought to light new tools and new thinking in addressing cervical cancer. With limitations in the past on cervical cytology, there is a better way now to detect the presence of Human Papillomavirus (HPV) and its persistent infection to a patient which is the principal cause of cervical cancer in women. Using HPV molecular diagnostics instead of the conventional methods, helps increase sensitivity of detection by 50% and lowers the risk of cancer advancing after testing negative of HPV.

“The conference delved deeper on other healthcare topics as well providing a relevant platform to change the mindset of diagnostics being just a tool for diagnosis. From prevention to monitoring, diagnostics is an integral part of decision making along the healthcare continuum and to strengthen the potential of diagnostics in the fight against disease,” says Mr. Wolf.
Roche Diagnostics Middle East also hosted the MeDia Talks, an educational platform for the in-vitro diagnostics industry for regional media, with an interactive educational session in its efforts to raise the awareness on the importance of diagnostics and its benefits to the healthcare industry as a whole including its cost efficiency. A laboratory tour was conducted to further show the media the efficiency of the automation process.

This article was published on 18/03/2017