Israel Can Open Existing Medical Databases to Supercharge Homegrown Startups
Four Israeli HMOs have a database of 5 million medical records. The country can help local startups by opening the data, writes EarlySense CEO Avner Halperin
Avner Halperin | 17:03 08.04.2018
Last month, the Israeli government approved a $264 million (NIS 922 million) plan to build a national personalized digital health system in the country within the next five years. The plan includes the establishment of a specialized medical database to be called Psifas (mosaic), which aims to collect some 100,000 voluntary genetic samples from patients representing the genetic diversity of the Israeli population, composed of about 70 countries of origin. Psifas could be invaluable to researchers. However, it will take up to five years to complete.
Israel is a world leader in cybersecurity and information security, meaning it has the required know-how when it comes to securing the database. The Israeli government would be wise to turn its digital health plan into a catalyst for medical information security technologies, a field which will skyrocket within the next decade. This way, Israel can become a leading player in both fields, which will complement and feed off of each other.
The global digital health race is already underway and Israel must utilize its unique existing resources, while also developing new databases and technologies, in order to establish its prominence in the field.Avner Halperin is the CEO of non-invasive patient-monitoring company EarlySense Ltd.