Mohamed Amersi was invited to participate in an online discussion hosted by The Commonwealth Enterprise and Investment Council (CWEIC), where he also serves as a board member. The discussion titled “The Healthcare Industry’s response to Covid-19: From PPE procurement to tech innovation.” was hosted by Lord Marland, CWEIC Chairman.
CWEIC is the Commonwealth’s business network, with over 90 business and government Strategic Partners from across 27 countries and territories, with a mission to facilitate and encourage flows of trade and investment between the 54 member nations of the Commonwealth.
Alongside Mohamed, other panelists on the webinar included Christopher Geidt, Chairman of King’s College London; Dr Emad el Dukair, Senior Advisor, InterHealth Canada; Dr John Parry, Clinical Director of TPP; Percy Asare Ansah, CEO of Premier Health Insurance, Ghana; Chris Fearne, Deputy Prime Minister & Minister for Health in Malta and Professor Vajira Dissanayake, Chairman of the Commonwealth Centre for Digital Health. The breadth of international perspectives shared lessons learned from the measures adopted across the UK, Ghana, Malta and Sri Lanka. The webinar audience was international and attracted interested individuals from across the healthcare and technology ecosystem and across the Commonwealth.
Mohamed shared the range of Covid-19 related initiatives he is involved with, and his unique perspective as a collaborator working alongside business, academia, and government in the UK.
Mohamed outlined the three-pronged approach he has taken to support a breadth of Covid-19 initiatives;
1) PPE & Procurement
- OxVent – a rapid ventilator prototype that has been developed by a team from Oxford University
- Covid Screen – a screen for hospital use to minimise risk of infection for frontline workers
- Drug development – a new iminosugar drug currently being researched by Oxford University
- Coronavirus vaccine development – led by Professor Sir John Bell, regius professor of medicine at the University of Oxford.
Mohamed also shared critical lessons learned from his involvement;
- Challenges to vaccine development include receiving regulatory approval and to create an effective, scalable deployment method, to ensure the vaccine is accessible and available to all
- There is an opportunity to facilitate improved collaboration between public and private sector organisations, to work together to address complex challenges
- We cannot depend entirely on China for supplies, we must explore opportunities for collaboration across the Commonwealth states
- There is an opportunity for local laboratories to develop the reagent supplies we will need, whilst catalysing job creation
Through the University of Oxford Foundry (OXFO) Covid-19 Rapid Solutions Builder, Mohamed is advising a series of start-ups incubating new ideas to tackle emerging problems related to mental health, misinformation, and a novel saliva test as a less invasive to the current swab test.
3) Tracing, Tracking & Testing
Mohamed is supporting DHSC, PHE & NHS X in the development of the Tracing App to ensure anonymity, data protection, and effecting external communication and messaging to ensure public engagement and adoption.
The rich discussion and moderated Q&A created a space for knowledge sharing and exchanging lessons learned between panelists and with the audience. A powerful example of the collective wisdom and open, collaborative problem-solving ethos we are witnessing across the Health sector in light of Covid-19.