Dror Bin
Dror BinHannah Teib

Nineteen HMO clinics and hospitals will share in over NIS 100m of funding to establish a digital infrastructure to make data accessible to start-ups and high-tech companies

The Ministry of Health, the National Digital Initiative, and the Israel Innovation Authority on Monday approved support of an initial grant of NIS 40 million to be allocated amongst 19 programs to establish research infrastructure amongst health organizations in Israel.

The grant will be directed from the budgets of the Ministry of Health, the National Digital Israel Initiative and the Innovation Authority.

Next year, health organizations that are awarded grants via this program will be able to request continued support, up to a maximum of three years.

The new designated program for Israeli health organizations allows them to leverage data to create a competitive advantage for Israel, and to allow health organizations to significantly expand the number of their partnerships with companies and start-ups.

Dror Bin, Israel Innovation Authority CEO, said: “In order to advance innovative health services in the Israeli health system, and to allow for the development of the industry in Israel, there is a need to quickly create effective partnerships, at competitive costs. The existing databases in the health system are some of the best of the world in terms of their range, and making them accessible to industry will allow for the breakthrough of Israeli innovation in the area of health-tech. Moreover, the partnership between ministries to promote the call for proposals succeeded in recruiting many health organizations and additional partners who indicated the great need for this program and its potential for promoting this issue.”

Esti Sheli, Director of Digital Health, the Ministry of Health, said: “The challenges of the health system require us to invest in innovation - this is an essential strategic component in every policy. Israel, which leads in innovation and high-tech, is also one of the leading countries in the field of digital health. Israel has a strong public health system that is willing to develop and adopt innovation. The new program that is being developed together with the Innovation Authority and Israel Digital Initiative is significant news for continued investment in the health system, in order to promote research and development. This will provide patients with services and treatments at the forefront of medical innovation, which are tailored to the needs of the Israeli population.”

Asher Dolev, Head of Israel Digital at the National Digital Israel Initiative, said: “There are two exceptional opportunities in the area of digital health in Israel: first, the innovation of the ‘Start-Up Nation’ and the quality of human capital in Israel; and second, the knowledge, research capabilities and existing data that exists within the Israeli health system. The new program will strengthen the integration of these advantages, and will help a variety of Israeli companies, entrepreneurs, and researchers in the field to collaborate with Israeli health organizations and to bring innovation into the Israeli health system.”

The Ministry of Health, Israel Digital, and the Innovation Authority announced Monday the winners of the new dedicated program for Israeli health organizations, to promote collaborations and to establish the necessary infrastructure for research and development. The new program is expected to significantly expand the range and quality of partnerships with companies and start-ups, while meeting the needs of innovative research and development in this field: dedicated manpower at health organizations for collaborations purposes, pre-defined SLAs for collaborations, competitive programs, and a variety of innovative infrastructure.

In the framework of the call for proposals, 30 programs were put forward by Israeli health organizations and industry partners. These were examined and evaluated by the research committee according to their ability to be implemented and realized, the potential to advance the health system in Israel and to increase competition, the range and variety of partnerships, work processes, and business plans.

Out of these, 19 programs were selected to establish groundbreaking infrastructures in a variety of areas:

  • Five health organizations – Tel Hashomer, Hadassah, Rambam, Assuta and Rabin – will establish a digital infrastructure for clinical tests.
  • Establishment of a unique research and development infrastructure in the area of digital pathology by Patho-Lab Laboratory.
  • Assuta Medical Center will make videos of endoscopies available for research and development.
  • Collaboration between Hadassah and Shaare Zedek hospitals and the Meuhedet HMO to make the joint data of hospitals and the research community available.
  • Establishing a testing environment for smart hospitalization at the hospital and patients' homes at Assuta Ashdod Hospital.
  • A unique collaboration between Mayanei HaYeshua Medical Center and the Holon Institute of Technology to make accessible information in the areas of mental health and midwifery.
  • Tel HaShomer Hospital will establish a research and development infrastructure for full genetic sequencing (T2T) combined with additional types of information.
  • The Bayit Balev chain of retirement resident homes will open a research and development infrastructure combining data from a variety of institutions caring for the elderly population: protected living, geriatric hospitals, and rehabilitation centers.
  • A range of other organizations including Clalit and Leumit HMOs, Tel HaShomer, Ichilov, Rambam, Soroka, and Wolfson hospitals, and the Government Hospitals Division, are offering impressive projects making data from a variety of sources accessible, to be used for a number of advanced researches.

The health organizations that won support from this program can submit next year a request for further support up to a maximum of three years.