Modern hub to fast-track global technologies developed by Israeli startups
November 2019 – Sheba’s new ARC Center, which stands for “Accelerate, Redesign, Collaborate,” gives Israeli digital healthcare startups the opportunity to collaborate with hospital staff – working alongside expert physicians to pinpoint unfulfilled clinical needs and develop effective solutions. The center will be led by Dr. Eyal Zimlichman, Sheba’s Chief Innovation Officer, and Dr. Nathalie Bloch.
A dozen startups have already joined the first group of ARC entrepreneurs. There are six medical tracks, and a senior Sheba physician is at the helm of each one: telemedicine, precision medicine, digital innovation focusing on big data and artificial intelligence, virtual reality, rehabilitation, and surgical innovation.
“Think about the world around us. We are in the midst of global turbulence and chaos – civil wars, climate change, raging forest fires, earthquakes, and the ultimate challenge of the emergence of new diseases,” said Prof. Yitshak Kreiss, Director General of Sheba Medical Center.
The way Prof. Kreiss sees it, Sheba has two choices. One is to continue working with blinders to the growing chaos all around, waiting for someone else to better the world. Or, Sheba Medical Center “can obligate ourselves to lead the change. We are obligated to take on the challenge and to implement global change in healthcare.”
The ARC Innovation Center is based in Ramat Gan, north of Tel Aviv, but all of the Israeli startups are united in their quest to develop solutions for the global healthcare marketplace. Created from a passion to solve healthcare challenges worldwide, all ARC developments are export-oriented.
Even ARC’s revolutionary model for innovation has already been exported. Canada’s Ottawa Hospital embraced the philosophy of shared, creative ideation and joined Sheba in their focus on how to respond to the issue of the fast-growing elderly population and the ensuing “flood of care demand.” Presently, additional hospitals are also in discussion with Sheba on how to adopt the ARC model.
“Three years ago, we had a vision – a living ecosystem embarking on a mission to redesign healthcare so that we are able to meet ever-growing challenges,” said Dr. Zimlichman.
“During the past three years, some called it chutzpah and arrogance, but still we persisted. This evening, we dream of a possible future. Then we have to work hard to make that dream become a reality.”
Some of the cutting-edge startups involved in the ARC Center include Aidoc – an AI-powered medical-imaging analysis company, XRHealth – a virtual reality rehabilitation platform, and Well-Beat – a treatment compliance company.
“Aidoc carried out its first clinical trials at Sheba. The hospital’s commitment to research and excellence helped set us on the right course,” said Ariella Shoham, Aidoc’s Vice President of Marketing. “Even as we expand globally, Sheba is still Aidoc’s home-base and a world leader in patient care.”
At present, XRHealth is working on pilot programs with Sheba to convert it into “the first fully-integrated extended-reality hospital,” according to co-founder and CEO Miki Levy. The company incorporates virtual and augmented reality solutions into the healthcare arena; XRHealth’s technology can replace sedation and pain distribution in particular cases, and they already work with multiple sclerosis.
Venture capital fund Triventures and the ARC Innovation Center partnered to form Triventure ARC, a $45-million seed investment fund. Meuhedet and Leumit, two major healthcare providers in Israel, have also teamed with the initiative to integrate inventive solutions in their medical operations.