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Oman wins WSIS Prize for electronic healthcare application

22 Jul 2020

Oman has won the World Summit on Information Society (WSIS) Prize for the Ministry of Health project – Early Diagnosis of Breast Cancer using Artificial Intelligence (AI). The prize is in the category of electronic applications in healthcare sector and the winners will be awarded in a ceremony in September. 

The sultanate is participating in the WSIS Forum 2020, which represents the world’s largest annual gathering of the ‘ICT for development’ community. This year the forum activities are being held virtually, starting from July 20, until the first week of September. 

The 2020 forum’s theme is ‘Fostering digital transformation and global partnerships: WSIS Action Lines for achieving Sustainable Development Goals’ and it witnesses the participation of tech officials from various countries to share expertise and initiatives in this fast developing field. 

H E Eng Azza bint Sulaiman al Ismaili, Minister of Technology and Communications, and Dr Salim Sultan al Ruzaiqi, CEO at the ministry, represented the sultanate in a high level sessions with other officials from different countries. H E Eng Azza participated in a panel discussion that was held on July 21, highlighting ICT Applications and eServices, in which she addressed the sultanate’s initiatives in using new technologies to achieve a more inclusive economy. 

She said, “Oman is adopting new innovations in some of our new citizen/ business centric e-services. In the beginning of this year, we established a centre for the 4th Industrial Revolution with an aim to provide a robust environment that is supportive for research and development in 4IR technologies.”

H E Eng Azza added, “In 2019, the Ministry of Health utilised AI technology in breast cancer diagnosis and currently it’s used in three hospitals in Oman with good results, which proves the feasibility of the technology in reducing time, effort, and money spent in this area. The project was extended to using the same technology to classify Chest X-Rays, which will have a great impact in the sultanate healthcare system and the economy in general.”

Dr Ruzaiqi also participated in a discussion session on ‘Building Confidence and Security in the Use of ICT’. Ruzaiqi addressed the sultanate’s role in managing and operating the regional ITU cybersecurity centre since 2013. He said, “ITU Arab Regional Cybersecurity Center provides cybersecurity strategies and governance, cybersecurity technical and assurance services, cybersecurity incident management services and cybersecurity capacity building.”

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