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Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Sheba Medical Center at Tel Hashomer recently launched a first-of-its-kind innovative technological hub.

The ARC Innovation Center, whose letters stand for “Accelerate, Redesign, Collaborate,” is designed to allow medical start-ups and mega international companies to work in close proximity to hospital staff—a symbiotic relationship that can be extremely beneficial to both, especially identifying unmet clinical needs.

The center has already welcomed a dozen start-ups in the first intake of entrepreneurs and focuses on six medical tracks, each overseen by a senior Sheba physician: precision medicine, virtual reality, digital innovation focusing on big data and AI, rehabilitation, telemedicine and surgical innovation.

“Think about the world around us,” said Sheba Medical Center Director-General Prof. Yitshak Kreiss at the opening. “We are in the midst of global turbulence and chaos—ivil wars, climate change, raging forest fires, earthquakes and the ultimate challenge of the emergence of new diseases.”

ARC is not only focused on Israel, but has ambitions beyond. Working in a relatively small market, as well as understanding the need and requirement for solutions to worldwide healthcare challenges, Israeli start-ups always have an eye on global export.

ARC has already exported its innovative model. Ottawa Hospital in Canada’s capital joined Sheba to embrace an open innovation philosophy, by trying to get ahead of the expected flood of care demand caused by a rapidly aging population. Other hospitals are similarly expected to adopt the model.

One of the start-ups that has benefited from their presence in the innovation hub is Aidoc—an artificial intelligence-based medical imaging analysis company.

“AI has the ability to prioritize patients’ needs,” said VP of Marketing Ariella Shoham. “They get treated faster, including those who have nothing wrong with them. Wait times are shortened and it expedites patient treatment,” she added.

Sheba is Israel’s largest medical center, at which more than one quarter of the country’s medical clinical research takes place. The medical center was named by Newsweek magazine as the 10th best hospital in the world.

By Rachel Cohen