New technologies like genomic medicine combined with artificial intelligence (AI) have the potential to significantly reduce the diagnosis time for rare diseases, as stated by experts in the UAE. Dr. Imane Boudellioua, a researcher, cited a previous project where a cohort of 19 patients with an extremely rare genetic disease called congenital hypothyroidism took three years to receive a diagnosis. Through the integration of data from various sources using AI, the time taken to identify the disease was reduced to just one day based on the patients' DNA sequences.

These insights were shared during a panel discussion on precision medicine and preventive health innovation at the University of Birmingham in Dubai. Dr. Imane, currently serving as the Senior Researcher at the Technology Innovation Institute in Abu Dhabi, expressed optimism about the future of medicine with the integration of new technologies. She highlighted the potential of AI to alleviate the burden of diagnosis and envision a future with more personalized treatments tailored to individual genetic compositions.

Dr. Mohammed Uddin, Associate Professor of Human Genetics at the Mohammed Bin Rashid of Medicine and Health Sciences, echoed the need for convergence between AI and genomic medicine. By leveraging multiple machine learning algorithms, doctors can gain insights into the impact of genetic mutations on protein structures, paving the way for more personalized medication.

Additionally, Dr. Ahmad Abou Tayoun, Director of Al Jalila Genomics Center & Associate Professor of Genetics at Al Jalila Children's Specialty Hospital & Mohammed Bin Rashid University Of Medicine and Health Sciences, highlighted the breakthrough in 2020 where AI facilitated the discovery of a new class of antibiotics capable of combating MRSA, a drug-resistant bacteria.

Despite the promise of precision medicine, experts acknowledged several challenges. Major Dr. Mohamed Al Marri, Director of the Genome Center at Dubai Police, emphasized the lack of IT infrastructure to store the significant amount of data generated from genomic sequencing. Moreover, the need for clear regulations to govern patient confidentiality in genomic sequencing remains a critical challenge, as noted by Dr. Hinda Daggag, Director of Healthcare at PwC Middle East.