New toolbox for Israeli startups aims to help navigate US healthcare system
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New toolbox for Israeli startups aims to help navigate US healthcare system

Start-Up Nation Central and PwC Israel and Health Research Institute hope the kit will help boost collaborations with US institutions

Sharon Shapira, manager of the Digital Health Sector Strategic Projects at Start-Up Nation Central, speaks to attendees at the Digital Health Toolkit & US adoption of Digital Health Solutions launch event, January 3, 2018. (Courtesy/Start-Up Nation Central)
Sharon Shapira, manager of the Digital Health Sector Strategic Projects at Start-Up Nation Central, speaks to attendees at the Digital Health Toolkit & US adoption of Digital Health Solutions launch event, January 3, 2018. (Courtesy/Start-Up Nation Central)

Start-Up Nation Central, a nonprofit organization that aims to connect Israeli startups with investors, and PwC Israel and Health Research Institute have jointly set up a digital health toolbox for Israeli startups, to help them navigate the intricate US healthcare system.

“The aim of the toolkit is to provide early and mid-stage startups interested in piloting and commercializing products in the US, with a roadmap of how to navigate the US healthcare system,” said Sharon Shapira, manager of Digital Health Projects Strategic Sector at SNC, in a phone interview.

Israeli venture capital funding in digital health startups jumped by 30 percent last year, to almost $340 million, compared with 2016, with a total of 470 digital health startups operating in seven sub-sectors. The most substantial sectors were digital therapeutics at 36%, remote monitoring at 18%, and clinical workflow at 17%, according to data from SNC.

The free toolbox is actually a digital report that provides startups with practical information and tips about how to target US hospitals for pilots, work with key stakeholders and executives, structure contracts, and navigate the FDA process, Shapira said.

Start-Up Nation Central (SNC) data on Israel Digital Health Start-Ups (Courtesy SNC)

The most promising areas for digital health cooperation are artificial intelligence, big data, fintech, and cybersecurity healthcare solutions, Shapira said. In addition, Israeli healthcare companies have a “competitive advantage” over their US counterparts in research and development, because they can access the database of Israel’s health system, which for over 25 years has been collecting data on patients and is a “treasure of long-term aggregate patient and health-related outcome data,” said Shapira.

The new toolbox will also help Israeli entrepreneurs navigate legislative changes in the US healthcare system as the transition from Obamacare to Trump’s health care plan solidifies, she added.

A visit aimed at building initiatives and programs to connect Israel to strategic healthcare hubs in US cities Houston and Chicago is planned for later this year, Shapira said.

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