NIS 55m. earmarked for digital health infrastructure

The support program is intended to create a competitive advantage for Israel and create solutions to difficult problems faced by the health system in Israel and worldwide.

Illustrative photo of Israeli money (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
Illustrative photo of Israeli money
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)

The Health Ministry, Israel Innovation Authority and the Headquarters for the National Digital Israel Initiative are set to provide approximately NIS 55 million to health organizations for the establishment of infrastructure to promote research and development in the field of digital health.

A main emphasis in this program is also on the standard of service that will be provided to researchers as part of the collaborations. The health organizations will receive support of up to NIS 8m. each for programs that will establish and/or expand their infrastructure and employ dedicated staff that will help promote collaboration throughout the research and development phases.

As an example of the kind of systems that are being considered is a “a joint medical oncological data infrastructure,” which would be based on diagnostic and therapeutic data of a Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) and a hospital, explained Aviv Zeevi, VP of the Technological Infrastructure Division at the Israel Innovation Authority. This system could digitize and gather data from different databases in a way that would enable the retrieval of medical insights without violating data privacy.

The collaborations are not limited to research information access, a press release on the subject stated. Global competition mandates the further expansion and intensification of the use of data and digitization in interventional clinical trials, to maintain Israel’s advantage as a strong and innovative public health system.

Promoting these collaborations requires continuous investment in infrastructure and relevant personnel - an investment that health organizations find difficult to allocate in the existing reality.

 Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz at the Knesset, November 15, 2021.  (credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST) Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz at the Knesset, November 15, 2021. (credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)

“Israeli health organizations have recently demonstrated impressive capabilities to embrace and implement innovation at a fast pace and adapt to a new world. We want to further strengthen and nurture this capability,” said Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz. “Israel can definitely lead in the implementation of innovation in the health system, but this requires investment in research infrastructure and dedicated manpower.”

Horowitz highlighted the contributions of the Israeli health organizations, saying that they are “a source of strength to the Israeli economy.”

“We have all seen the importance of the medical data infrastructure during the coronavirus pandemic,” Science and Technology Minister Orit Farkash-Hacohen concluded. “Promoting medical data infrastructure in Israel will advance science and technology toward the challenges of the future and promote life-saving customized medicine. I welcome this important step taken by the Israel Innovation Authority and its partners.”