Innovation and acceleration centres in several Israeli medical centres are finding technological cures for global healthcare ills by Abigail Klein Leichman MARCH 13, 2019
Israeli hospitals aren’t only hubs of healing; they’re also emerging as global hubs of innovation.
What’s driving this trend? Three factors unique to Israel: An aggressive problem-solving approach, a robust innovation infrastructure, and a centralized, digitized healthcare system possessing 25 years of data from cradle-to-grave electronic medical records.
It all adds up to a powerful prescription for curing serious healthcare challenges across the world.
The number of hospital-sponsored innovation centres or healthcare accelerators is believed to be higher per capita in Israel than anywhere else. In the United States, several innovation centres have begun in prominent hospitals including the Mayo Clinic, Cedars-Sinai Medical Centre, Cleveland Clinic and Boston Children’s Hospital.
Of course, Israel also has a robust healthcare accelerator/incubator scene outside of the hospital environment. These programs — among them Trendlines Medical, eHealth Ventures, FutuRx, Alon MedTech Ventures, NGT3, RAD BioMed Accelerator, Samsung Runway and MedXelerator – often have backing from the government and from global healthcare, pharma and medical device companies.
According to Start-Up Nation Central’s 2017-2018 Digital Health Report, the Israeli government also is planning to establish digital health innovation labs.
Innovation at Hadassah
Hadassah Medical Centre and IBM Israel recently launched a six-month digital-health accelerator for post-seed-stage startups. IBM provides expert advice and free access to tools including the IBM Cloud.
“We will make clinical and research infrastructure accessible to companies in the program, as well as the hospital medical staff and professionals supporting various development aspects,” said Dr. Tamar Raz, CEO of Hadasit, the tech-transfer company of Hadassah Medical Organization.
The new accelerator is housed in the 1,300-square-meter Biohouse workspace opened in June 2018 on Hadassah’s Ein Kerem campus for medical innovation entrepreneurs.
Biohouse is using Hadassah as a pilot location before expanding to additional Israeli hospitals and then internationally, said founder Yaki Zinger. “We bring biomed companies into medical centres and provide them with added value. We also connect the hospitals in Israel and worldwide by creating a community.”
Biohouse CEO Shai Melcer tells ISRAEL21c that Biohouse members include digital-health, medical-device and biopharma startups at all stages, including Gamida Cell and BrainStorm Cell Therapeutics.
“Because Biohouse is a private entity that hooks up with many medical centres, we have a platform that allows us to interact with both internal and external startups,” Melcer says. “Biohouse member companies receive a full support package from the host medical centre and whatever else they need, including strategic partnerships with investors and industry.”
For full article by Israel 21c Abigail Klein Leichman