May. 27, 2020

Abdulla Abdul Aziz Al Shamsi

UAE, Abu Dhabi

Abdulla Abdul Aziz Al Shamsi

CEO, Mubadala Healthcare

Mubadala Healthcare was created to bring world-class care to Abu Dhabi with a focus on promoting population health and driving medical education and research.


Abdulla Abdulaziz Al Shamsi was appointed CEO of Mubadala Healthcare in 2017 to oversee the investment, development, operations, and management of the healthcare assets and initiatives within Mubadala's healthcare portfolio. Previously, he held the role of chief administrative officer at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi, where his strategic responsibilities included oversight of the strategic programs office, continuous improvement teams, business intelligence and strategy, and business development. Al Shamsi has a bachelor's in architecture from Carnegie Mellon University, a master's in architecture II from the University of Pennsylvania, and a degree in managing healthcare delivery from Harvard Business School. He first joined Mubadala in 2008.

What is the strategy behind Mubadala Healthcare's investments, and how do they aim to address Abu Dhabi's healthcare needs?
Mubadala Healthcare aims to bridge the gaps within healthcare by engaging in partnerships with best-in-class international healthcare partners. Our partnership with Imperial College London in the UK to bring the Imperial College London Diabetes Center (ICDLC) to the UAE is an example of how we aim to address pressing local healthcare issues through partnerships. Diabetes is a burden in the UAE and region in terms of chronic disease and lifestyle management associated with diabetes care. After witnessing the success of ICLDC's contribution in targeting the disease, we started to pursue further partnerships that would bring a similar quality of care to other areas of specialization in the UAE. Consequently, we negotiated a partnership and created a platform to establish Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi, the first time the healthcare operator agreed to expand outside of North America. We took every step necessary to guarantee the patient experience in Abu Dhabi met the same high standards of quality. This was achieved not only through building state-of-the-art medical facilities, but also close collaboration between the hospitals, and ensuring our world-class doctors and caregivers share a patient-centric approach. When we opened, we thought we were purely addressing a gap in the local market, though now we have found people in other countries travelling to Abu Dhabi for care too.

What synergies are created across these different entities and assets from a healthcare perspective, and how are they aligned with Mubadala Healthcare's targets?
Through specialized institutes and centers of excellence across our assets, world-class doctors and surgeons, state-of-the-art medical and screening facilities, telemedicine services and long-term, post-acute care and homecare, we have created a fully comprehensive portfolio that addresses the needs of the healthcare sector in Abu Dhabi. We constantly find opportunities to tie in services and expertise across our network that enhance the patient experience and outcomes. From a wider perspective, Mubadala has transitioned from being a development company to an investment company. Our approach to healthcare has been to drive productive change in the industry toward sustainability, while also raising the quality of care. While our focus is providing world-class care, promoting population health, and driving medical education and research, we are also conscious of a double bottom line: financial and socio-economic sustainability. Healthcare differs from many industries because the services contribute to society both directly and indirectly. Meanwhile, we are also presented with the opportunity to leverage the IP that we have built and create disruptive innovation in the market internationally.

What innovations has Mubadala sought to attract to its healthcare service offerings, and why did it decide to invest in the Abu Dhabi Telemedicine Center?
Research and innovation are key strategies to develop a leading healthcare network enabled to organically evolve in a sustainable manner. To that, we have launched the “Test Beds" initiative at Mubadala Healthcare to source innovative solutions, screen them, and then pilot them within a Mubadala healthcare facility. In practice, this is done through many platforms and approaches. We look at the needs of our facilities, through close collaboration and focus groups that include our caregivers. We also utilize the resources we have within the Mubadala network to tap in to innovative projects. We are actively looking at opportunities and solutions whether in healthcare IT, big data, AI wearables, medical services, or biotechnology research to be implemented in three areas: clinical care and prevention, digital health, and healthcare delivery models. With regard to telemedicine, about seven years ago we saw an opportunity to serve the market beyond our brick-and-mortar services and created a telemedicine platform. I am extremely enthusiastic about this service because of the convenience it provides, particularly for those in remote areas. In addition, we have an application that utilizes video conferencing capabilities to deliver further detailed diagnoses. Overall, such services are the future, and we will see a global shift to more telemedicine services.