The Robot will see you now: Artificial intelligence in Israel’s hospitals

Within a decade, more than 90 percent of surgical procedures will be performed by robots and 70% of hospital visits will take place in the patient’s own home using telemedicine.

That’s the startling prediction from Dr. Eyal Zimlichman, deputy director of Sheba, Israel’s largest hospital near Tel Aviv, where he is also chief medical officer and chief innovation officer.

Tune in to hear Dr. Zimlichman discuss the future of medicine with Israel’s top experts, entrepreneurs and investors today, Sept. 9, at 7pm Israel time in an online OurCrowd event: “AI to the Rescue: How Startup Tech Is Reinventing the Hospital.”

Dr. Zimlichman is masterminding the development of the world’s first “Hospital at Home,” where instead of doctors and nurses traveling to residences, they do their rounds remotely, using the latest technology.

Artificial intelligence and micro-robotics have thoroughly transformed modern medicine, allowing practitioners to see deeper, decide faster and heal better than ever before. David Harel, Co-Founder & President of Cytoreason, will explain how his company is developing computational to speed up drug trials and replace mice. Now technology is about to reshape the hospitals themselves.

Patients can be monitored in their own homes while medical staff perform their daily rounds using AI-enhanced imaging devices delivered to their doors, like the remote technology developed by Tytocare. Large numbers of hospital beds will become redundant, reserved for critical cases. The need for in-patient and out-patient space will shrink, halting the sprawl of physical hospital facilities and dramatically downsizing traditional treatment wards.

Mercy Hospital in St Louis, MO blazed the trail with Mercy Virtual, where healthcare is being transformed through specialist teams trained in the use of the new technology. Mercy Virtual patients no longer have to physically seek out care or entirely reorient their lives to gain access to specialists. Virtual technology brings the care to them.

AI-powered imaging developed by Zebra Medical is helping radiologists read and triage thousands of scans quicker and more effectively than before, and Sight Diagnostics is enabling blood tests to be performed quicker, cheaper and safer than ever before based on just a couple of drops of blood. Computational models for disease and drug development could accelerate or even replace expensive and slow-moving clinical trials, enabling the faster development of new drugs and making it cost effective to develop personalized medicine for small population groups. Models based on collaborative data from pharma companies, currently secreted in private silos, could mean we say goodbye to testing drugs on mice, using machine learning to read the data that tells us how they impact humans instead.

Oren Sarig of Diagnostic Robotics will explain how his company uses AI to predict underlying conditions and guide patients to the most appropriate medical services, saving time, money and reducing pressures on health systems.

Startups offering AI-enhanced imaging, blood tests and diagnostics have been growing for the past decade, with some technologies already gaining FDA and European approval. But telehealth adoption has been turbocharged by the coronavirus pandemic. With outpatients staying home, Covid-19 patients isolating, and medical staff battling to shield themselves from the killer virus, doctors turned to startup telehealth solutions to monitor and diagnose infectious patients and those who don’t want to risk a hospital visit.

Forced by the pandemic to try out the new technology, medical staff have been quick to embrace it. Startups offering the new solutions are working hard to meet the sudden increase in demand, and some have been able to pivot their technologies and apply them to new use cases created by the coronavirus emergency.

Israel trails only the U.S. and China when it comes to both healthcare innovation and AI startups. The combination is creating a perfect storm, with a rapid proliferation of companies rolling back the frontiers of medical care using the new technologies.

Investors are also taking note of the accelerated trend. Eli Groner, Israel managing director for Koch Disruptive Industries, has overseen investments in four Israeli health-tech startups. Groner says AI-assisted doctors will be able to provide far better treatment, while the data collected from millions of tests could be a significant gateway to predictive diagnostics based on computer vision.

And, of course, there are the robots. Dr. Zimlichman foresees a not-too-distant future where almost all surgical procedures will be assisted by robots, which have now developed to the point where they are smaller, more dextrous and more accurate than even the finest surgeons’ own hands. If that sounds crazy, Dr. Zimlichman compares surgical robots to the autopilots that control 90 percent of airplane journeys.

It sounds like one way to navigate a perfect storm. Join us online to find out more.

About the Author
Jonathan Medved is the founder and CEO of OurCrowd, the world’s leading global equity crowdfunding platform. Medved is a serial entrepreneur and investor, according to the Washington Post “one of Israel’s leading high tech venture capitalists.” In 2015 Medved was named one of the “50 most influential Jews.” He invested in almost 200 startups, helping to bring 15 of them to values in excess of $100M. Exits include: Shopping.com (acquired by Ebay), Compugen (Nasdaq: CGEN), Answers.com (Nasdaq: ANSW, acquired by Summit), Cyota (acquired by RSA/CA), Finjan (Nasdaq: FNJN), Mobile Access (acquired by Corning), Tradeum (acquired by VerticalNet), Native Networks (acquired by Alcatel), Broadlight (acquired by Broadcom), Xacct (acquired by Amdocs), Business Layers (acquired by CA), Xtellus (acquired by Oclaro), and Digital Fuel (acquired by VMWare). Between 2006-2012, Medved was the co-founder and CEO of Vringo and led the company to a successful IPO on the NYSE. Medved is a frequent guest and commentator on U.S. and Global TV: PBS, CNN, CNBC, BNN, Bloomberg, CBN, CBC, BBC, ReutersTV, CCTV.
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