Abu Dhabi, UAE. 12th May, 2023 – M42, a first-of-its-kind, tech-enabled, integrated healthcare powerhouse created through the coming together of G42 Healthcare and Mubadala Health is currently undergoing a pioneering study on human and ocean health.
The study is being conducted on blood and ocean water samples retrieved post the expedition of the recently concluded 2022 Golden Globe Race, where Commander Abhilash Tomy (Retired), former Indian Navy Officer scripted maritime history with a podium finish after a gruelling 236 days at sea in which he circumnavigated the globe.
During his voyage aboard the UAE-registered boat BAYANAT, Abhilash collected water samples from remote parts of four oceans – the Indian, South Pacific and North and South Atlantic – to aid studies on the presence of microplastics.
The samples will be tested at Central Testing Labs, a G42 Healthcare managed facility in Abu Dhabi. Leveraging G42 Healthcare’s unique medical and data-centric technologies, the results will improve understanding of the impact of human activities on global marine environment with the aim of engaging with relevant stakeholders to encourage more sustainable practices.
By utilizing a computational study and testing more than 30 chemical indicators, researchers and environmental surveillance experts at G42 Healthcare also aim to understand the effect of long-distance voyage (including diet) and endurance on the Skipper’s health. Changes to the blood chemistry during and after the voyage will be monitored to understand any longer-term benefits or effects. It is hoped that this information will benefit other sailors at sea for long periods, who are sometimes limited in terms of diet diversity.
Sustainability is high on the UAE’s agenda, with COP28 due to be hosted here later in the year. In addition, the UAE has a long relationship with the sea and seafarers, continuing today in terms of trade and entertainment, so the study into the welfare of sailors and our seas holds a special place.
Hasan Jasem Al Nowais, Group Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of M42, said: “At M42 we are excited to impactfully disrupt the global healthcare industry, transforming lives through innovation. This is a unique opportunity to discover in its truest sense our environment, as oceans are the largest ecosystem and the planet’s life support system.
“Committed to envisioning a future in which we empower the scientific and healthcare community, with not only the latest technology to optimize patient outcomes, but also robust knowledge-sharing, we are confident that the research will help unravel insights and ascertain interventions powered through AI based analytical platforms, proving to be beneficial in our steps towards climate action. My heartiest congratulations to Cdr. Abhilash Tomy on overcoming immense odds to support our endeavours in conserving our planet.”
Glad to be home after more than six months at sea, Abhilash added, “I am deeply grateful to Bayanat for sponsoring and supporting my passion and dreams. After successfully completing the Golden Globe Race 2022, I have realized that the opportunity to give back to the planet and scientific development is much bigger than what I set out to achieve. Having witnessed the impact of our actions on the oceans, I am proud to be part of this endeavour to carry out the first-of-its-kind water testing and sailor-health study.”
The Golden Globe Race was first held in 1968, with its 2022 edition seeing 16 participants attempt to sail non-stop around the world – a total distance of 30,000 miles, beginning in September. The race is so gruelling that currently, only two of the 16 competitors completed the race, after 7 months at sea, with another likely to finish during the second week of May, with the others finding conditions either too difficult or suffering excessive damage to their boats.