In the never-ending battle of providing the best child care available, the Children’s National Medical Center has gotten support in recent years from an unlikely source: the country of the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
A Middle Eastern country located on the southeast part of the Arabian Peninsula along the Persian Gulf, the UAE has a small population (estimated 9.2 million), but is big when it comes to wealth. Despite its small size of 32,000 square miles, the UAB has prospered due to its oil and natural gas reserves. Many see the country as a rising power in the Middle East and its largest city, Dubai, has already emerged as a global city in regards to business, transportation, and tourism.
The country uses a Western-style business model despite being having a monarchy form of government. Due to its wealth, the UAE government has already spent millions on advanced technologies, but are also sharing some of the advances with others.
An example of their role as a benefactor is the Children’s National Medical Center in Washington D.C. which has received several million dollars in donations over the past few years to help fund greater use of robotics in surgery and 3D tissue printing. The latter could help recreate certain small parts of human anatomy such as eardrums by using a 3D-print of bio-tissue.
However, an even greater positive effect could emerge if the use of robotics is perfected to the point where robots can carry out some of the more routine surgeries. If robots can conduct such surgeries with minimal supervision from actual surgeons, then they could help ease the burden of surgeons in the near future. By taking over some of the more routine surgical work, robots could unintentionally free up professional surgeons to focus on more complicated procedures.
Another tech advance in which the hospital is working on, through funding from the UAE, is the Surgical Robotic System where eye-sensing cameras and mechanical arms are controlled by a surgeon sitting at a console. Through this system, some hysterectomies have reportedly been done.
Thanks to the funding from the United Arab Emirates, the medical center is hoping to advance medical care for children in new ways over the coming years.