By Ramadan Assi
In its tenth anniversary year, the annual WISH 2022 summit focused on four core themes: Sports and Health, Disability, Wellbeing, and the COVID-19 Legacy. The 2022 summit was unique, as it took place a few weeks before one of the most internationally anticipated sport events, the 2022 FIFA World Cup, which is scheduled to take place in Doha, Qatar, from November 20, 2022, to December 18, 2022.
WISH 2022 was held on October 4th-6th, under the banner of “Healing the Future,” with the active participation of more than 3000 delegates from 59 countries across 6 continents. The delegates, comprised of Royals, Heads of State, Ministers, healthcare innovators, members of the private sector, investors, policy makers, practitioners, researchers, and even celebrities like Sir Mo Farah, all gathered as one community at Multaqa, Education City, to share ideas and seek out innovative healthcare solutions. WISH 2022 featured seven research forums, three World Cup reports and six policy briefings, each led by an internationally renowned expert in the field, who highlighted topics that covered medical, ethical, technological, and humanitarian aspects of healthcare. Additionally, the summit featured main plenaries on each day, partner-led side sessions, agoras, innovations pitches and roundtables.
Since its inception, WISH has been committed to building a rich ecosystem of health innovation and to invest in people and companies that transform the delivery of healthcare. This year, WISH has selected a group of 10 young innovators through its “Spark Competition” and a group of 10 startups through the “Booster Competition” for the opportunity to showcase their start-ups to a global audience of healthcare policy makers and influencers at the summit.
The Exhibition Hall at the summit was an interactive space that highlighted organizations from Qatar and around the world that are shaping the design, delivery, and financing of healthcare. Additionally, the Exhibition Hall included a gallery area, replicates of sensory rooms and networking areas. The Terasaki Institute for Biomedical Innovation (TIBI) was among those exhibitioners, with a fully delegated booth.
The Terasaki Institute for Biomedical Innovation participated in the WISH 2022 summit with a sizable delegation that included Dr Keith Terasaki, Chairman of the Board, Ms. Cecilia Terasaki, Board Member, Mr. Stewart Han, President, Dr. Xiling Shen, Chief Scientific Officer, and Ramadan Assi, Senior Innovation Strategist. TIBI also held its own session at the summit on “Innovative Approaches Toward Unlocking the Potential of Precision Medicine.” TIBI’s Chief Scientific Officer was also a panelist in another session focused on “Precision Medicine for Vulnerable Populations.” The TIBI team utilized their time at the summit to meet with various entities and to explore potential areas of collaboration; some of these entities are Sidra Hospital, Qatar MoPH, Hamad Bin Khalifa University (HBKU), the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), the Qatar Research, Development and Innovation (QRDI) Council, and the Qatar National Research Fund (QNRF), among others.
It is worth mentioning the WISH CEO, Ms. Sultana Afdhal, who is on TIBI’s leadership board. The TIBI delegation was grateful for her warm welcome and generous hosting, as well as the opportunity to be part of the outstanding WISH 2022 summit. We are looking forward to the next summit.