Cleveland Clinic and Maccabi Healthcare Services are expected to announce their first investments in Israeli startups in the e-health space by the end of the year, Tom Sudow, director of business development at Cleveland Clinic Innovations, said in a phone interview.
Cleveland Clinic, considered one of the top medical facilities in the US, and Maccabi, one of Israel’s largest healthcare providers, set up an accelerator last year, eHealth Ventures, to promote Israeli digital health companies. The parties were awarded an incubator franchise from Israel’s chief scientist in the spring and now have a total of about $40 million in funding to invest over eight years, said Sudow, who is on a visit to Israel.
The incubator will focus on digital health and health IT companies, Sudow said. “Israel has got a number of excellent opportunities and we believe that that is where healthcare is going,” he said. “We are the only incubator awarded in Israel as totally dedicated to digital health.”
Areas of interest will be electronic medical records, analysis of medical data, sensors and sensor technologies — to enable patient tracking — and gaming technologies to help with diagnosis or treatment of various diseases.
“We believe that over the next eight years we will make between 35 and 40 investments – focused only on Israeli companies, unless a company wants to move to Israel to join the incubator,” Sudow said.
Cleveland Clinic will give startups accepted into the incubator, based in Modiin Illit, between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, the opportunity to understand and work with the US market and access to potential partners in China and Europe, with which the clinic has ties.
“We want them to be very market-focused in making sure what they are developing will work in the markets that they are targeting,” Sudow said.
Cleveland will also link up the companies to key opinion makers in the US and doctors in the clinic, and allow the companies to grow their technologies by helping them raise money and develop business plan.
“We are seeing some very exciting companies with very bright people who have worked on them. There is brilliant engineering here,” Sudow said.
The clinic also scouts for technologies in Finland, Ireland and other European cities, as well as in China. None of these countries has “the volume we find in Israel,” Sudow said.
Cleveland Clinic also has a partnership with Hebrew University to develop nanotechnologies to treat cancer. The research project is in the process of raising funds, he said.