Jerusalem, 3 May, 2021 (TPS) — The record for the volume of investments in Israeli startups in the field of digital health was again broken in the first quarter of 2021 with $31.6 billion being raised for startups in the industry in just 90 days.
The peak was recorded in parallel with the world’s gradual exit from the Coronavirus pandemic and reflects the long-term effects of rising health awareness by investors and the general public.
At the same time, as many investments are coming in, health and insurance organizations are accelerating the rapid adoption of new technologies, most of which are based on Artificial Intelligence (AI).
This appears to be the beginning of a new era for digital health, and the involvement of Israeli startups in the American health market has become more significant than ever.
An example of this can be seen in the integration of the AI developed by Israeli startup Aidoc in the American healthcare system. Last month, Aidoc signed a partnership with Radiology Partners, the largest radiologists’ association in the US, which operates in 10% of all US hospitals.
Aidoc has developed a system based on Artificial Intelligence for analyzing radiology images. The company’s platform interfaces with the hospital’s server and automatically checks patients’ CT scans in real-time. The system knows how to detect abnormal findings and alerts the radiologist about emergencies that require urgent treatment, thus saving valuable time in waiting for human decryption, which may take several hours depending on the number of people waiting.
The algorithms are based on in-depth learning and Big-Data analysis of millions of photographs and scans in order to extract patterns that characterize abnormalities and medical conditions. This improves the functioning of radiologists who are sometimes required to manually go through hundreds of scans a day.
The FDA-approved package of solutions introduced by Aidoc and its integration into the healthcare system provides physicians with a safety net in case human work limitations lead to missing important findings or slowness in reading the scan.
Elad Wallach, CEO of Aidoc, said that “the increasing adoption of artificial intelligence technologies by the American healthcare system has immense value. We have reached an era where artificial intelligence tools serve as critical skill multipliers for physicians, enabling improvement in patient care and reducing overall health costs.”
“The new partnership with Radiology Partners will accelerate the adoption of technology in the US market and set a new standard of treatment in the field of radiology,” he said.
Another startup, DayTwo, was established on the basis of a groundbreaking study by Israeli researchers Prof. Eran Segal and Prof. Eran Elinav of the Weizmann Institute. They found that the same foods, eaten by different people, cause different blood sugar reactions in each of the participants. This discovery of differences in the body’s responses to food has led to the development of technology that allows for the prediction of individual sugar responses in the blood and offers dietary recommendations that are individually tailored to each person to avoid abnormal jumps that are harmful to one’s health.
This area has received increasing attention from the US health care system following data showing that a third of the Corona deaths in the US have also dealt with sugar problems, which has pushed up sugar management costs and made dealing with diabetes a very costly problem in the US.
According to Adi Lev, VP of Research and Development at DayTwo, “we see that our algorithm, written by our developers in Tel Aviv, leads to significant improvements in our patient’s health, the balance of sugar levels, inhibits the development of diabetes, a significant decrease in medication and other medical indicators.”
“For example, this week we heard about a user of a DayTwo program in Michigan who canceled her gastric bypass, it feels like we are creating a product here with meaning,” he said.
To make the scientific breakthrough accessible to users in Israel and the US, DayTwo has developed a mobile app that allows you to enter the desired meal composition and receive a real-time customized forecast of the sugar jumps after eating it. The predictive power also rests on the decoding of one’s microbiome, which is the unique intestinal bacterial composition that is determined with the help of a home test.
The venture has an interesting cast of investors, including Omri Caspi, a former NBA player and captain of the Israeli basketball team, Marius Nacht, one of the founders of Check Point, the Johnson & Johnson Corporation, the American hospital chain Mayo Clinic and other venture capital funds.