Israel On Quest For Digital Health Domination


NEWS by Catherine Longworth

Israel has set its sights on becoming a global leader in digital health, boosted by the government’s new five-year plan to invest nearly $300m to drive innovation in this space.


Israel is on a mission. The self-dubbed “Start-Up Nation” has proclaimed its ambition to become the world’s leading digital health innovator and with the launch of a new national initiative, it looks like it could be on its way.

In March, Israel’s government unveiled a digital health plan focused on turning this sector into a major economic growth engine for the country and placing Israel right at the forefront of medtech innovation.

According to a Transparency Market Research (TMR) report, the field of digital health is projected to reach $536.6bn by 2025, as the global population ages and health care demands accelerate quickly.

Israel is hoping to capture 10% of this global market potential in the coming years. Indeed, it is predicted that digital health will have a greater impact on Israel’s economy than the cyber security sector in which the country has become an industry leader, producing global giants such as Checkpoint.

“We are doing something of historic significance. We are developing the industries of tomorrow,” Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in an official statement. “[There is potential] to reach a ILS600bn ($171bn) market and, if we succeed, as we did in cyber security and the vehicle industries, we can expect a significant increase in new products.”

The five-year plan, which is a coordinated effort by the Prime Minister’s Office and the ministries of Finance, Health, Social Equality, Economy, and Science and Technology, will have a budget of approximately ILS1bn ($280m) and invest in several elements including technological development, academic and industrial efforts and regulatory changes to encourage data research.

A number of factors suggest Israel is already on the right track to reach its digital health goals. The country has a unique, competitive advantage in developing digital health solutions due to the majority of patient medical data being already being digitized and there being clinical data on more than 98 percent of the population, giving researchers access to a wealth of information.

Israel also has a well-established culture of hi-tech innovation and entrepreneurship, which is financially backed by the government. Israel ‘s Innovation Authority, an independent public body, leads the country’s innovation policy and is also involved in the plan alongside the Council for Higher Education.

About MiXiii #Biomed

MiXiii Biomed is Israel’s leading international life science conference and exhibition, taking place on May 15-17 at the David InterContinental Hotel in Tel Aviv. Both MobileODT and K Health will be presenting this year, alongside a host of other Israeli life science companies. The conference is the largest gathering for health-care professionals from Israel to meet with international colleagues and partners. It offers a unique opportunity for global participants to learn about the latest innovations and technologies of Israel’s biomedical industry. In addition to a digital-health track, the conference this year will also look at trends in #ophthalmology, #oncology, #brainHealth, #digitalHealth, personalized #diagnostics and #therapeutics, and #nanomedicine, among others.

Ora Dar, from the Israel Innovation Authority and co-chair of Israel’s #MIXiii #BiomedConference, told Medtech Insight the government’s plan aims to boost investment in digital health innovation. “We want to reduce budget constraints that limit the capability to invest in innovation by academia, industry and health organizations. It will also give incentives to industry and health organizations to found start-ups.”

A big component of the plan will be establishing the “Mosaic” project, a clinical genomic database which will account for approximately third of the funding. The initiative is aimed at sequencing 100,000 Israeli volunteers for R&D purposes to advance health. The volunteers will contribute clinical and genomic information, as well as additional kinds of information regarding their health.

“All the population will benefit from the R&D outcomes,” said Dar. “We can also benefit from the ethnic variability of Israel. The project will be unique to Israel but can also align with other global efforts in this space. We believe that the wider research community will be interested in it too.”

Read more from the source: