Israel has approximately 385 companies active in the field of digital health, according to a report which connects global entities with Israeli innovation.

In particular, the personal health tools subsector has skyrocketed, numbering 174 companies (45 percent of the overall sector). This subsector includes companies that provide software-based tools to help people track, manage and even treat their own health conditions.

The report was released ahead of the 16th annual MIXiii BIOMED 2017, an international life-science conference and exhibition expected to attract 6,000 industrialists, scientists, engineers and investors from 45 countries, May 23-25 at the David InterContinental Hotel in Tel Aviv.

The digital health sector worldwide is rapidly transforming passive patients into active healthcare consumers. Experts say Israel is positioned to be a major player in this global trend of patient empowerment, with products for health IT, electronic medical records and business analytics.

Image courtesy of Start-Up Nation Central

According to the Start-Up Nation report, the Israeli digital health sector grew significantly in 2016. The sum of investments last year was $183 million, an increase of almost 30% compared to 2015 ($144 million). Personal health tools and health analytics accounted for over 70% of deal volume in 2015 and 2016.

The health analytics subsector, consisting of 85 Israeli companies that collect and analyze data to predict, prevent, diagnose and treat medical conditions, received the most funding in the past two years: $84 million in 2015 (59% of total investments), and $58 million in 2016 (32% of total investments).

Another subsector that received considerable funding in 2016 ($55 million) is clinical workflow, which includes companies that enable hospitals, clinics, labs and other healthcare stakeholders to work more efficiently. The wearables and sensors subsector received $46 million (25% of total investments) in 2016.

Image courtesy of Start-Up Nation Central

Digital health and aging

“With one of the most advanced healthcare systems in the world, coupled with extensive experience in the areas of information, communications and cyber, Israel has become in recent years a promising center for technologies that analyze and process medical information,” said Guy Hilton, chief marketing officer for Start-Up Nation Central.

“Most of the investments in Israel in the past two years have focused on these technologies, while the global industries have focused on other areas. Furthermore, since many of the solutions developed in Israel are based on software and target the end-user, they can be widely implemented. Taking advantage of these trends can position Israel as a meaningful player in the global healthcare industry,” said Hilton.

MIXiii BIOMED co-chair Ruti Alon said the report underlines the importance of networking among researchers, physicians, senior executives in hospitals and life-science companies, academia and industry from Israel and around the world.

“Among the co-organizers of the conference are the Cleveland Clinic and the Mayo Clinic, both among the leading medical centers in the US and worldwide. In addition, we are expecting delegations from East Asia and Europe,” she said.

One of the conference’s main subjects this year is digital-health solutions for aging and age-related diseases. The impact of aging on population health and world economy; genetics and epigenetics; precision diagnostics and medicine; regenerative and cell therapy; robotics and aging; cancer, neurodegenerative diseases, diabetes, congestive heart failure and hypertension; health IT, digital health and cybersecurity; continuum of care for the elderly; and moving solutions from academia to industry are among the topics to be covered.

“Digital health will dramatically change the way in which we consume and receive healthcare services, leading to better medical results and substantial savings in healthcare expenses. Israel as a leader in information, communication and cyber technologies, with more than 25 years of experience in implementing information systems and analysis in its public healthcare system, an openness and willingness on behalf of its hospitals and HMOs to implement these technologies, and close to 400 digital health companies, has the potential to be a world leader in this industry,” said MIXiii BIOMED co-chair Dr. Benny Zeevi, managing general partner of Tel Aviv Venture Partners.

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