ARC focuses on Accelerating innovation and Redesigning healthcare by Collaborating with partners.
It brings together physicians, researchers, startups, industry leaders, academia, investors, and top-tier medical centers for the goal of redesigning healthcare to meet real-world needs and applications.
In 2020, ARC pioneered new technologies in leveraging big data and artificial intelligence, expanding telemedicine as well as accelerating innovation for cutting edge entrepreneurs and startups at the intersection of healthcare and technology. Through a robust commitment to international partnerships, ARC continues to multiply its global impact beyond Sheba.
ARC continues to deploy lifesaving technologies and strategies in response to COVID for Sheba, Israel and internationally. This work is transforming healthcare delivery and patient care- helping usher in the new revolution in healthcare.
Big Data and Artificial Intelligenc.
Powering Sheba's innovation is data. Sheba was one of the first healthcare providers to transition to electronic medical records in 2002 and has operated entirely paperless since 2004. Today, Sheba stands as a pioneering leader and expert in big data and artificial intelligence. Sheba's big data and artificial intelligence enable clinicians and startups to rapidly advance precision medicine, telemedicine, virtualization in medicine, innovations in surgery, rehabilitation and are critical in the battle against COVID.
The Data Center is one of the six innovation hubs at ARC driving the future of health. Seventy-one unique projects are currently underway, from COVID treatment to cancer diagnosis, and used across the hospital, from Sheba's telemedicine program to precision medicine program. The Data Center is currently working with 11 startups to accelerate their technologies and product development.
In early 2020, as the COVID pandemic struck, the Data Center rapidly developed a set of new Smart Dashboards to monitor hospital operations and patient status across the Sheba network. The Smart Dashboards include an overview of the department, calculators, trends over time, and predictions on length of stay or deterioration based on artificial intelligence models derived from Sheba's comprehensive data collection.
In March, ARC launched an initiative to convene leading data scientists from across Israel used Sheba Medical Center's coronavirus patient data to present insights and solutions for combating the disease. In June, ARC held a Corona Data Challenge. The winning project from Intel's Advanced Analytics team
will be implemented at Sheba and validated at the Mount Sinai Hospital in New York.
As more healthcare services are delivered directly to patients outside of a traditional hospital setting, Sheba is leading the virtual hospital transformation. Under the leadership of Dr. Galia Barkai, telemedicine is one of the six innovation hubs at ARC. The program was initially launched pre-COVID and focused on patient rehabilitation, cardiac health, and type I diabetes treatment. When the pandemic struck, Sheba quickly scaled the program to meet the challenge – becoming the first COVID telemedicine program in the world. To date, over 42,000 virtual visits have been conducted by Sheba since the beginning of 2020.
In February, Sheba mobilized the telemedicine program to treat Israeli citizens exposed to COVID from the Diamond Princess cruise ship. Soon after, Sheba rapidly expanded it to more patients diagnosed with or exposed to the virus. The program enabled quarantined patients to be treated effectively and safely while lowering the risk of infection to other patients, hospital employees, and the general public. This became critical to Sheba's continuity of operations and supporting Sheba’s standard of the highest quality of care. The program since expanded to include a pediatric, psychiatry, and pre-natal COVID programs.
Leveraging technology and industry partnerships have been vital components of Sheba's telemedicine program as it continues to expand for COVID and broader health needs. Among the new programs is also a telemedicine women’s health program. In August, ARC held its first startup pitch competition for telemedicine projects in the women's health arena. The companies, representing a variety of fields, presented technologies with applications for gynecological solutions.
Startups and Innovation
ARC is the largest launchpad and ecosystem for healthcare innovation and development in Israel and a driving force behind its ranking as one of the top global healthcare technology hubs. A primary goal has been to translate basic research into patient-centered clinical technologies, meet real-world needs, and contribute to the affordability, accessibility, and quality of the healthcare system at large.
Sheba holds a 70-year legacy and track record of innovation and serves as a crucial industry partner as an initiator, catalyst, and testing center for Israeli medical technology and new drugs. Sheba is home to 3200 researchers, technicians, and lab workers and performs a quarter of all medical research in Israel. Sheba conducts over 750 clinical trials a year and is the main venue for human clinical trials conducted by the Weizmann Institute, Tel Aviv and Bar-Ilan Universities. Additionally, Sheba originates approximately 20 biomedical patent applications per year through the Technology Transfer Office.
Today, over 50 startups are a part of ARC, ranging from diagnostic testing to telemedicine and smart medical devices. ARC is the ideal innovation lab for leading entrepreneurs and startups from Israel’s dynamic ecosystem as well as those from within Sheba Medical Center through the Technology Transfer Office. Each year, over 30 innovation projects are launched from within Sheba’s rich ecosystem alone.
Startups in ARC receive access to Sheba’s vast medical database, clinicians, researchers, network, and access to funding opportunities to accelerate innovation. Sheba convenes industry experts under its roof who work as mentors and design partners to tailor technologies and models to meet real-world needs and applications. Sheba collaborates closely with industry leaders to promote intellectual property commercialization at the hospital.
ARC’s startup portfolio encompasses a broad range of technologies and companies at various stages
- Newsight/Virusight Diagnostics developed an artificial intelligence-backed spectral device to test saliva and identify the COVID-19 virus's evidence within seconds. Founded within Sheba in 2016 and led by Professor Eli Shwartz of the Center for Geographic Medicine, the new method will be more convenient and affordable. The company recently launched a pilot in 25 airports across Europe.
- Datos Health is a provider of a hospital-grade telemedicine patient management platform.The platform leverages machine learning to safely monitor, detect, analyze, and even predict changes, adapt, and intervene to manage patient treatment protocols successfully. Founded in 2015, Datos was one of the first startups to join ARC and worked with Sheba to develop its first product as an application to monitor cardiac patients remotely. When COVID struck, the platform rapidly expanded for remote monitoring in Sheba's COVID telemedicine program. Datos's platform has since launched at the Rochester Regional Health in New York and Vaica Medical.
- MDClone developed a unique technology for organizing, accessing, and protecting patient data privacy, enabling healthcare knowledge workers to transform ideas into actionable insights in rapid cycles. Founded in 2016 in Israel, MDClone works with major health systems, payers, and life science companies in the U.S., Canada, and Israel. A close partner of Sheba Medical Center, the company's platform recently released a new application to enable healthcare industry collaboration to understand treatments and outcomes for COVID patients better. The company also launched a new partnership with Jefferson Health and the U.S. National Institute of Health.
- Tunefork is an audio personalization technology that creates a personal audio "earprint" to ensure the ultimate hearing experience over smart mobile devices for people with hearing loss and seniors. Hearing loss is a disability that affects 1.3 billion people worldwide, making their everyday lives challenging. The company's solution targets this challenge and can be integrated into any smart device with any operating system and optimize all audio content: phone calls, rings and alerts, TV shows, voice messages, music, video, GPS instructions, in-car infotainment, smart assistant response and much more. Tunefork joined ARC in January 2020, launched its clinical trial, and completed a $1.5M seed round, led by Triventures ARC.
Key to Sheba’s philosophy is close alignment and collaboration with medical with industry leaders, academia, corporations and the public sector. In 2020, Sheba continued strengthening its record through expanding high-level strategic partnerships.
- In August, a new partnership with Houston Methodist Hospital to collaborate on medical innovation and continuing education and training of health care professionals was announced.
- In September, an MOU with the UAE’s APEX to develop a joint innovation hub in the region to accelerate healthcare innovation and promote peace and prosperity. The partnership will launch medical collaborations, medical tourism, innovation exchanges, education and training, and expand Sheba’s work in the Gulf.
- ARC announced a partnership with Allscripts to accelerate the pace of artificial intelligence technologies and to improve patient care
- In 2021, Sheba will launch the first U.S. ARC Innovation Center in Chicago in partnership with Kaleidoscope Health Ventures, Farpoint Development on the former Michael Reese Hospital site Opportunity Zone program with the City of Chicago.
Taking lessons from COVID, in May, Sheba presented "HealthSpace 2030" – a high tech ICU room of the future in collaboration with the Israel Center for Medical Simulation. This patient room of the future will revolutionize how care is delivered by integrating technologies in sensing, monitoring, artificial intelligence, communication, augmented reality, and robotic technologies to maximize care and comfort while minimizing risk. Israeli entrepreneurs working closely with Sheba developed nearly all of the technologies in HealthSpace 2030. Many of these technologies were piloted at Sheba and shared with partner hospitals in North American and Europe. Israeli companies showcased in the simulation included Vocalis Health, Tyto Care, Temi, EarlySense, CLEW Medical, AnyVision, and Serenno.
Dr. Eyal Zimlichman
ARC is about proactively turning the vision of future health into a reality. And doing so through a global ecosystem of collaborators working together in a coordinated fashion. COVID had put ARC to the test. And in a very short while we were able to create numerous solutions that were implemented and already provided substantial value for our patients. For me it was the perfect storm and a testimony to the potential impact of the ARC program.
I see this as just the beginning. ARC is expanding almost exponentially, with more medical centers around the world, startups and strategic industry partners joining the ecosystem. With our developing ARC project in Chicago, and hopefully in the UAE as well, we are all very excited about the opportunities.
Dr. Sylvie Luria
Inventors from medical institutes are facing medical needs every day – they are constantly looking for solutions to treat their patients in a more effective way. The inventions and patent portfolios in our Transfer Technology department are true translational research – from the bedside – to the end user.
Dr. Galia Barkai
As part of Sheba’s vision to provide services to everyone everywhere, across boundaries, we had already developed telmedicine programs and used telemedicine technologies, integrating them into our system. So when COVID-19 came, we were able to quickly deploy critcal services. Looking beyond COVID-19, telemedicine will become indispensible, and Sheba will continue to pioneer and integrate new technologies.This article was written in cooperation with Sheba Medical Center.