ARC – The Center for Digital Innovation at Sheba Medical Center
The ARC Center (Accelerate, Redesign, Collaborate) for Digital Innovation at Sheba Medical Center in Israel brings together all the players in digital medicine – physicians, researchers, startups, industry leaders, academia, investors, and top-tier medical centers for the goal of redesigning healthcare. The driving mission behind ARC Center is to improve patient care, using innovation to provide real value to patients.
ARC Center is located on the vast campus of Sheba Medical Center, an environment permeated by creativity, collaboration, and groundbreaking innovation. Sheba has been a paperless, digital hospital since 2004, and the ARC startups have direct access to both the data and medical teams at Sheba, as well as the opportunity to pilot and apply their technologies within the hospital.
In addition to incubating outside startups, ARC releases internally developed technology. The program runs approximately 20 to 30 startups each year and operates a large digital health innovation fund in conjunction with TriVentures, a Herzliya-based venture capital firm. ARC’s model of sustainable innovation has been so successful that it has already been exported to other countries, such as ARC Ottawa in Ontario, Canada.
ARC Innovation Hubs
In order to cultivate and advance the development of digital health capabilities across the entire spectrum of healthcare, ARC has established six innovation hubs – each of which is headed by a chief clinician. These include:
- Big Data and Artificial Intelligence (AI)
- Precision Medicine
- Virtualization in Medicine
- Innovations in Surgery
Three teams collaborate at ARC to provide an all-encompassing response to research and development, consistently maintaining a high academic level and satisfying all regulatory requirements.
- Clinical/Regulatory Team: Provides assistance in designing research and meeting regulatory standards
- Development Team: Retrieves data from information systems and analyzes it to build predictive models and develop artificial intelligence
- Project Management Team: Responsible for planning and project management, including assistance with the hospital’s organizational infrastructure and closing external contracts
Research & Innovation at ARC
Current projects at ARC include:
Various advanced systems are being designed to predict how a patient will respond over time to a particular disease or condition. These models can be implemented by physicians, enabling them to make informed decisions about the most effective, individualized treatment programs for each patient. For example, progressive software has been designed to help diagnose CT scans based on information compiled from Sheba’s databases, which include more than one million CT scans since 1998.
ARC is currently working on several telemedicine projects, all of which involve remote care with sensors, cameras and other technologies that work to help patients receive advanced, quality healthcare from home. This reduces the burden on hospitals without compromising patient care. One example of a successful telemedicine project is remote cardiac rehabilitation – a dedicated app that provides patients with home-based rehabilitation following a cardiac event.
In conjunction with TriVentures, a venture capital fund was established at ARC Center in order to ensure that medical innovation progresses from development to the commercial market, creating significant value for patients. The fund, TV-ARC, focuses on investing in young startups and companies that specialize in digital medicine and innovative medical technologies.
ARC’s Chief Innovation Officer
Prof. Eyal Zimlichman, MD, MSc (MHCM), Deputy Director-General, Chief Medical Officer, and Chief Innovation Officer at Sheba Medical Center
Prof. Zimlichman is an internal medicine physician, a healthcare executive, and a researcher who is powerfully and passionately focused on maximizing innovation to evaluate and improve the quality of healthcare and patient safety.
“Many of the big medical centers are focusing internally because they want to develop intellectual property and commercialize it,” said Zimlichman. “But we know so many of the brightest ideas come from outside. They’re coming from startup companies. And especially in an environment like Israel, with so many startup companies around us, if you’re closed to those startups, if you’re closed to innovation on the outside, you’re missing a huge opportunity.”
Before his current role, Prof. Zimlichman held the position of Chief Quality Officer at Sheba Medical Center. Before joining the Sheba team, he held the position of Lead Researcher at Partners HealthCare’s Clinical Affairs Department in Boston, where he was involved in efforts to found a strategic care redesign initiative. In that capacity, he established an internationally acclaimed program for gathering and reporting patient outcomes across the continuum of care.
Prof. Zimlichman served as a past advisor to the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and he is presently a member of three policy steering committees at the Israeli Ministry of Health. Additionally, he is currently conducting research at the Center for Patient Safety Research and Practice at Brigham and Women’s Hospital affiliated with Harvard Medical School.
In line with his mission to shape and improve the future of healthcare, Prof. Zimlichman has been leading the Talpiot Medical Leadership Program at Sheba since 2017, an initiative aimed at promoting the brightest young physicians into leadership roles.