JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israel’s Sheba Medical Center and the United Arab Emirates’s APEX National Investment said on Thursday they signed a preliminary agreement to jointly promote healthcare technologies in the UAE and the Gulf region.
The memorandum of understanding is the first cooperation announced between an Israeli hospital with an Emirati company after Israel and the UAE agreed to normalise relations last month.
A final agreement is expected to be signed around Sept. 21 in the UAE, said Yoel Hareven, director of Sheba International at Sheba Medical Center.
Hareven said the MOU will pave the way for cooperation on medical innovation, professional training, medical tourism and COVID-19 treatment.
“We’ve embedded existing Israeli telemedicine (remote treatment) technology which allows us to provide medical care to coronavirus patients while minimising risk to the medical teams – this is of great interest to the Emirates,” he said.
Sheba and APEX will form an innovation hub in the Gulf based on Sheba’s big data platform, a joint statement said.
Since the Aug. 13 announcement to formalise ties, Israeli and UAE companies have started to work towards cooperation in banking and other fields.
Last month, right after the diplomatic deal was announced, APEX signed a deal with Israeli Tera Group to cooperate on COVID-19 R&D including a testing device.
A formal signing ceremony between the UAE and Israel will be hosted by U.S. President Donald Trump on Sept. 15, a White House official said on Tuesday.
Reporting by Maayan Lubell; Writing by Steven Scheer; Editing by Steve Orlofsky