There’s little doubting Israel’s credentials when it comes to medtech innovation. To date, there are over 1,500 companies in the healthcare and life sciences sectors, with around 70% based in the field of medical devices and digital health. While these figures alone make Israel a global leader in delivering healthcare technology, every indicator suggests that the startup nation is only getting started.
With more than 100 new companies with a focus on medical technology launching domestically each year, it’s unsurprising that Israel is rubbing shoulders with the largest nations on earth when it comes to innovation.
Boasting particular excellence in the life sciences and medical technology sectors, Israel has emerged as the nation that hosts some of the most developed startups and entrepreneurial endeavors. Bolstered by spinout-friendly academic institutions and an encouraging startup culture supported by government policy, it’s unsurprising that Israel’s medtech acumen has grown to legitimately rival both Silicon Valley and Europe’s leading tech hubs in terms of output.
Significantly, Israel was ranked in sixth place in the 2022 World Index of Healthcare Innovation by FREOPP, placing the nation above the likes of the United States, Sweden, United Kingdom, Denmark, and Belgium.
Describing their findings, FREOPP notes that “Israel achieves a great deal in Science & Technology relative to its size.”
“Israel also ranks high in scientific discoveries, with a large amount of cited research and several Nobel laureates — on par with countries like Germany and France. As an example of how Israel’s scientific culture works well with its private healthcare system, in August 2021, researchers from Maccabi published a widely cited study tracking COVID-19 incidence in people who had recovered from a prior SARS-CoV-2 infection relative to those who had received the BioNTech/Pfizer vaccine,” the report added.
As a result of Israel’s emphasis on medtech innovation, the sector has been disproportionately represented on the global medical device stage, rubbing shoulders with nations with far greater populations at their disposal and even introducing new technologies to other major countries.
Driving Global Innovations
Crucially, Israeli medtech innovations are being embraced throughout the US, Europe, Africa, and many Gulf states in a move that improves the quality of life of citizens all around the world.
“Israel is spearheading healthtech technology, and more importantly, universal health coverage around the world,” said Dr. Otmar Kloiber, the Secretary General of the World Medical Association while opening The Future Health Matrix conference in late 2022.
Given Israel’s pioneering role in the development of medtech, it’s perhaps unsurprising that products are in high demand throughout the world. At Israel’s 20th Biomed Conference in May 2022, organizers were braced for record-breaking levels of participation as global interest in cutting-edge technologies ramped up.
According to Export Institute figures provided for Al-Monitor, there are several Israeli medtech companies already actively operating in lucrative Emirates markets. Pioneering startups like ezMedSoft, a software company that provides the digital patient journey and Healthy.io which converts smartphone cameras into handheld medical devices, have already found a market in Gulf states and plenty more is expected over the coming years.
Government Funding Paves the Way for Stronger Medtech
Israel is showing no signs of slowing in its development of cutting edge medtech, and the government selected 19 programs in 2022 for a digital health initiative that would allow organizations like HMOs, hospitals, and institutes to develop a digital infrastructure built on anonymous data-sharing and collaborative R&D with healthcare startups.
Funding for the initiative totalled NIS 100 million, or approximately $30 million, and is expected to span three years as part of the National Digital Health Plan.
To date, some of the nation’s most exciting medtech startups have been capable of sourcing impressive levels of funding to support their growth into the healthcare sector. Leading the list of well-backed enterprises includes mobile 4D imaging breast cancer screening startup, Vayyar, which has received over $300 million in funding to date.
Other well-funded startups include AI-based medical screening firm Aldoc, which has raised $250 million, and Tyto Care, which is a platform that records, stores, and sends data for medical consultations. Tyto Care has raised $155 million since being founded in 2011.
We’ve also seen funding pour into medtech startups that help to assist patients with disabilities OrCam, which raised $130 million to date. OrCam created a pioneering device that provides visual aid through a discreet wearable platform that serves to help the daily lives of individuals who suffer from all forms of vision loss.
Excelling in Rural Medtech
Thanks to the continued development of medtech startups in Israel’s bustling tech hubs, along with improved data capabilities and the work of the Helmsley Charitable Trust, the nation’s brightest innovations are becoming more prevalent throughout rural areas of the country.
Recently, the Helmsley Charitable Trust provided Clalit Health Services’ two southern hospitals with a grant to install their own Electronic Medical Records (EMR) system, along with a digital e-pharmacy program.
The move illustrates that Israel is continuing to build its medtech credentials domestically while expanding on the world stage. The implementation of the system is set to reduce errors, prevent instances of repetitive testing, and significantly improve communication between hospitals and primary care physicians.
“Thanks to the Helmsley Charitable Trust, the EMR and e-pharmacy projects have revolutionized medical care for over one million people in southern Israel,” said Dr. Michael Sherf, Clalit Health Services deputy director.
In a nation that’s continuing to win plaudits on the world stage for its dedication to innovation, Israel’s burgeoning medtech industry stands as an example of how ambitious startups can hold the power to revolutionize healthcare for countless communities both domestically and overseas. With the pandemic still very much in the rear view window, it’s clear that the impact of Israel’s dedication to medtech could be far reaching.
Dmytro is a CEO of Solvid, a creative content creation agency
based in London. He's also the founder of Pridicto, a web analytics startup. His work has been featured in various publications, including Entrepreneur.com, TechRadar, Hackernoon, TNW, Huff Post, and ReadWrite.