Harnessing the power of technology to transform mental health care

With the establishment of its new research institute, Mayanei Hayeshua is at the forefront of medical research in the fields of mental health and women’s wellness

 Doctors at Mayanei Haeyshua (photo credit: Courtesy)
Doctors at Mayanei Haeyshua
(photo credit: Courtesy)

Mayanei Hayeshua’s acclaimed mental health center is regarded as a role model for psychiatric hospitals in Israel. Now with the establishment of its Mental Health Research Institute (MHRI), it is poised to be at the forefront of medical technology innovation.

Dr. Dorit Tekes-Manova, medical director of Mayanei Hayeshua: “Our expectation is that the planned research institute, under the expert guidance of the newly appointed Director Dr. Or Friedman, will propel Mayanei Hayeshua to the forefront of medical research, specifically in the fields of mental health and woman’s wellness.”

“Using natural language processing (NLP), computers will scan intake and clinical records to find patterns that will guide treatment and improve outcomes,” explains Dr. Or Friedman. “In addition, the newly established data reserves will be a boon to further research by providing practitioners and researchers with the basis for testing hypotheses and bringing new ideas to light. As the first Israeli health care institution to use AI to advance mental health care and one of only a handful in the world, the MHRI will be an Israeli and global leader.” 

The breakthrough work conducted at the Mental Health Research Institute will positively impact patients at Mayanei Hayeshua and will have ripple effects in Israel and around the world.

About Mayanei Hayeshua

Formed in 1990, with the vision of being a true community hospital, Mayanei Hayeshua Medical Center has emerged as an Israeli leader in medical treatment and research. With the dual mission of meeting the needs of the residents of Bnei Brak and providing uncompromising excellence in health care, the hospital has grown exponentially. It now includes 18 medical departments and 32 outpatient clinics and institutes. 

Over the past 10 years, Mayanei Hayeshua has attracted many of Israel’s most notable medical leaders, providing them with the opportunity to be a driving force for growth and innovation. Two new buildings have been added to the campus, which encompasses more than 10,000 square meters. In the same period, the hospital has added a number of new departments, such as its renowned Mental Health Center and cardiology, dialysis, and orthopedics units. 

Center, headed by internationally renowned psychiatrist Professor Rael Strous, offers a range of treatments that relate to every aspect of human functioning. Guided by the dignity of human life and respect for patients’ individuality, the Mental Health Center has emerged as the leader in psychiatric care in Israel. 

The top staff members of the Mental Health Center, as well as the founder of the center, Rael Strous and the newly appointed Director of the MHRI, Dr. Or Friedman, realized that as a medium-sized health center that provides care for culturally unique population, they have access to data-collecting on a large scale. When analyzed properly, it can supply and expose important insights in the field of mental health.

Professor Rael Strous, medical director of Mayanei Hayeshua’s Mental Health Center, adds,  “Our hospital is blessed with many top professionals who, based on their vast expertise and clinical experience, constantly publish research papers in prestigious international health journals. I am extremely excited at the planned research institute at Mayanei Hayeshua because it will enable us to break into new frontiers.”

Safeguarding the patients’ privacy

Big data is not only what the doctor prescribes but the entirety of data that can be accessed, collected technologically, while avoiding identifying information of the patients and guarding their privacy. Big data commands a view of very diverse information such as critical measures taken by the nurses, information received from the medical insurance groups, doctors’ notes, and anonymous questionnaires filled out by patients. 

The center is a global role model in providing mental health care to distinct cultural communities. It has been hailed for many successes, such as treating eating disorders in the religious community. From the outset, the center set itself apart by not using constraints or coercive therapies and through its colorful, clean, and cheerful environment. The Mental Health Center has distinguished itself among other similar facilities in Israel with the highest staff-to-patient ratio; the lowest average hospitalization stays; and the fewest number of patients returning after discharge.

Chaim Fachler, head of Mayanei Hayeshua’s international resources development, says, “Even as we continue to expand the modern physical facilities and state-of-the-art professional medical services provided at Mayanei Hayeshua, we feel it is of paramount importance, as Israel’s only community hospital, that we share our expertise with other professionals and hospitals in Israel and abroad. To that end, we are establishing the unique and ground-breaking Mental Health Research Institute, and we invite partners to join us in this exciting program.”  

For further information: Mayanei Hayeshua Medical Center or contact Chaim Fachler, Director, Department of International Resources Development, at [email protected]

This article was written in cooperation with Mayanei Hayeshua