Two months after the Israeli government approved a one-billion-shekel national digital health program as a means of improving public health and as an engine of growth for the economy, the Digital Israel Initiative at the Israeli Ministry for Social Equality, the Israeli Health Ministry, and the Israel Innovation Authority have announced the launch of a new pilot program to be carried out in healthcare organizations across Israel. The new program will support research and development proposals and pilot facilities in the field of digital health. These pilots will be carried out in Israeli healthcare organizations or will be based on these organizations’ capabilities and data.
The program is intended for Israeli tech companies (not including any of the healthcare organizations in Israel) in the field of medicine and health. The companies accepted to the program will receive between 20% to 50% of approved R&D expenditures, with funding of up to 60% to 75% for proposals that show potential to significantly advance the public healthcare system in Israel and around the world, or that promise a breakthrough in their field.
The program will enable participating companies to significantly advance commercialization of their product. Implementation in test sites will also help facilitate go-to-market strategies. The program will help offset risks involved in R&D, without a stake in future profits. Companies will return their grants to the Israel Innovation Authority via royalties from sales only if an initiative has been commercialized.
Israeli Minister for Social Equality Gila Gamliel, who initiated the national Digital Health Program said, “Just two months after the government resolution I led promoting digital health was passed, the launch of this pilot program illustrates our commitment along with our partners to a quick and full implementation of the government resolution. The national digital health program is revolutionary and groundbreaking, and will position Israel as a superpower in digital health, with healthcare services among the most advanced anywhere in the world.”
Israeli Minister of Economy and Industry, Eli Cohen said, “Healthcare companies often need access to information and systems which are not normally available to growing companies to prove the viability of their technology. This program will make it easier for companies to have access to information not currently available to them and will help build a bridge between them and Israeli healthcare institutions.”
The Digital Health Initiative will help promote innovation and the implementation of advanced solutions in Israeli healthcare organizations in an effort to improve medical treatment and healthcare services for patients and provide solutions to challenges faced by the healthcare system with solutions such as individualized medicine, preventative healthcare, tele-care, decision-support systems, digital medical devices, solutions for patient empowerment, and others.
1. Level of technological innovation and uniqueness of a pilot.
2. Level of difficulty and technological challenge.
3. A company’s capabilities including management’s ability to lead a program to commercial success.
4. The economic-business growth potential of a company if the pilot succeeds.
5. The overall technological and vocational potential for the Israeli economy.
6. The overall effect a project can have on improving and streamlining the healthcare system in Israel.
7. Quality of the pilot program – including the level of the test site and the synergy between the company and the site.
8. The pilot program’s potential benefits to the company itself in terms of its go-to-market and commercialization strategies.
Chief Scientist of the Israel Ministry of Economy and Industry and Chairman of the Israel Innovation Authority, Dr. Ami Appelbaum said, “The board of directors of the Israel Innovation Authority has approved this program to support innovation in companies, in cooperation with the Ministry of Health and Digital Israel. Operating programs and pilots in real-time environments with adapted regulation will allow Israeli technology companies to offer proof of concept and quickly penetrate markets, thus helping them grow into large-scale companies in Israel. In addition, the commercialization of innovative technologies in Israel will improve the local market and the government’s regulatory capabilities and will help government entities propel tech companies from idea to commercialization. The goals of the program include developing and implementing innovative technologies in the fields of healthcare and medicine and examining their viability among relevant clients, promoting the healthcare system and public health in Israel and around the world, and creating and growing viable companies in the field of digital health in Israel through innovative technological solutions.”
CEO of the Israel Innovation Authority, Aharon Aharon said, “The goal of this unique program is to offer coordinated solutions from the Israel Innovation Authority and Ministry of Health for pain points we have identified in growing innovation ecosystems, especially those with heavy regulation and government involvement. These include the challenges associated with raising funds related to high levels of risk and difficulty, or with market obstacles or limitations stemming from the lack of access to testing facilities or difficulty receiving necessary regulatory permits.”
Director General of the Israeli Ministry of Health, Moshe Bar Siman Tov said, “The State of Israel has over the years developed a healthcare system amongst the finest in the world, based on outstanding public healthcare services offered to the citizens of Israel. We and our government partners launched the national digital health program this year to serve as an engine of growth in order to continue to develop our healthcare services and to position Israel at the forefront of digital health worldwide. As part of this nationwide program, the government is launching this pilot program to promote investment in research and development in a range of innovative healthcare technologies. The program will make it easier for healthcare organizations to work with companies in the industry and will leverage the expertise of medical teams with innovative Israeli technologies to improve health services in Israel.”