Netanyahu unveils NIS 1 billion shekel digital health project

Israel is a leading country in the field of digital healthcare.

January 26, 2018 04:14
1 minute read.
Netanyahu unveils NIS 1 billion shekel digital health project

Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks to the host Fareed Zakaria during the World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland January 25, 2018.. (photo credit: REUTERS)

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu plans to launch a NIS 1 billion digital health project in collaboration with Europe’s largest software firm SAP.

Meeting on the sidelines of the annual Davos economic forum on Thursday – where thousands of business executives, celebrities and politicians converge on the Swiss town to network and talk – Netanyahu announced the proposal alongside SAP’s CEO William McDermott.

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The project aims to promote the development of personalized medicine and preventive medicine, such as relying on AI tools to more accurately detect abnormalities and custom-tailor the response.

The investment in digital healthcare is budgeted at NIS 1b. and will be paid out over the five years. The research behind the project is expected to take place in Israel.

Israel is a leading country in the field of digital healthcare, with thousands of start-ups specializing in medical devices, pharmaceuticals and medical AI.

“Your government is being run exceptionally well,” McDermott told Netanyahu. “There is no other government in the world that would do this.”

Netanyahu formally presented the digital health project on Thursday night to McDermott.

“I want to talk to you about many subjects,” Netanyahu said. “You’ve already been to Israel before and we want you to visit Israel more often. But specifically, we have a project in digital health which we’ve started. We would be most glad to be partners, this is a tremendous opportunity.”

The proposal will be brought before the cabinet in a few weeks, a staffer in the Prime Minister’s Office told The Jerusalem Post. It needs to be approved by the government because the proposal may require granting access to health databases with sensitive private information.

In September, SAP bought Israeli customer identity management firm Gigya for $350 million.

SAP is a German-headquartered tech firm that focuses on enterprise software.

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