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The GCC and Global Health Diplomacy: The New Drive Towards Artificial Intelligence

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Health diplomacy has become an important “soft power” foreign policy tool and a critical component of the global effort to serve communities. Its importance has been increasing in recent years as there has been a marked intensity in public or academic writings in this field. In recent years, the GCC states have allocated significant financial resources for their health sectors as part of their strategic visions. The momentum in the health sector is reflected in the different GCC visions such as UAE vision 2021, Qatar Vision 2030, Saudi Arabia Vision 2030, Kuwait Vision 2035, and Bahrain Vision 2030. Health diplomacy plays a critical role in this policy direction with the need for know-how and the interdependence of our world. In parallel, many of these states have also heavily invested—or are planning to invest—in Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology and applications, including in their health sectors. This chapter looks into AI as a central piece of the healthcare sector in the post hydrocarbon future of the GCC. It provides a unique evaluation of AI in the context of its impact on the healthcare system and health diplomacy. The premise of this chapter is that the financial resources provided by the GCC for AI applications in healthcare will positively contribute to global health diplomacy, while highlighting the need to engage in global partnership and collaboration to truly leverage the power of AI in the GCC health sectors.

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Sharfi, M. (2021). The GCC and Global Health Diplomacy: The New Drive Towards Artificial Intelligence. In: Azar, E., Haddad, A.N. (eds) Artificial Intelligence in the Gulf. Palgrave Macmillan, Singapore.

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