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Medlab Middle East 2024 to Highlight Groundbreaking NextGen Medicine

By LabMedica International staff writers
Posted on 16 Jan 2024
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Image: NextGen Medicine will be a key topic at the 2024 edition of Medlab Middle East (Photo courtesy of Informa Markets)
Image: NextGen Medicine will be a key topic at the 2024 edition of Medlab Middle East (Photo courtesy of Informa Markets)

Some of the most prominent researchers in the field of NextGen medicine are expected to gather at the 2024 edition of Medlab Middle East, the region’s largest medical laboratory exhibition organized by Informa Markets Healthcare (London, UK). In collaboration with Express Med Diagnostics and Research (Manama, Bahrain), Medlab Middle East will be held from 5 to 8 February. This year, Medlab Middle East will welcome more than 30,000 visitors and 900 exhibitors, with representation from 180 countries. Tracks at the event include Laboratory Management, Hematology, Quality Management, Clinical Microbiology, Histopathology, Clinical Chemistry, Clinical Genomic Interpretation, Future of the Lab, Immunology, Blood Transfusion Medicine, and Sustainability in the Lab. The Medlab Middle East Congress will return for yet another year, providing education and solutions to advance laboratory skills to over 5,000 delegates.

NextGen medicine is a cutting-edge field of healthcare that utilizes genome sequencing to create targeted healthcare strategies for specific populations and individuals for a variety of diseases and rare conditions. The 'genome' is defined as the complete set of DNA instructions in a cell, which holds all the information required for the development and functioning of an individual. In 2003, the Human Genome Project successfully developed the first complete sequence of the human genome, leading to one of the most transformative breakthroughs in science and healthcare. Genome projects targeting specific national populations are currently underway in various regions across the Middle East. Interestingly, researchers are observing differences in DNA even within those national populations.

For instance, in Oman, researchers have found that individuals native to Salalah possess a completely distinct pool of mutations in comparison to people with ancestry from Muscat or Musandam. In March 2023, the UAE launched a 10-year National Genome Strategy to aid the development and implementation of genomic research projects and improve public health priorities in the UAE. The project focuses on accelerating developments in personalized medicine and combating chronic and genetic diseases. The Emirati Genome Program, the founding project of the UAE’s National Genome Strategy, will use cutting-edge DNA sequencing and artificial intelligence to examine the genetic profile of Emiratis.

“There are three key components of NextGen medicine – prevention, early detection, and the development of targeted treatments. The future of medicine is all about moving away from a 'one size fits all' approach to more personalized health strategies. It is essential that screening strategies are adjusted to the local reality as this will ultimately save lives, improve health outcomes, and reduce the costs associated with ineffective treatments,” said Dr. Karolina Kobus, Head of Genomics and Precision Medicine Lab Technology and Innovation Advisor at Express Med Diagnostics and Research. “Genomic inheritance is unique for every population and this means that disease patterns will differ in a Caucasian individual compared with those native to the Middle East for example. While significant progress has been made in genome projects in the Western world, we must acknowledge that the current human genome that is widely referenced is mainly based on data from Caucasian individuals.”

“The Middle East genome projects have the potential to contribute significantly to global science and improve healthcare in the region. This field of study is extremely promising, and the findings could lead to major advancements in the treatment of various illnesses, such as diabetes, heart disease, and cancer,” added Tom Coleman, Group Exhibition Director, Informa Markets Healthcare. “Medlab’s partnership with Express Med Diagnostics and Research at Medlab Middle East will showcase the latest advancements in medical technology precision diagnostics and medical laboratory solutions. Chaired by Dr. Karolina Kobus, the NextGen Medicine Conference will bring together top industry experts, researchers, and healthcare professionals who are driving innovations forward. The conference will share the latest updates on regional genome projects and delve into pressing topics such as early cancer detection, precision oncology, preventative health screening, and longevity.”

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