British Ambassador to Israel David Quarrey and British businessman and philanthropist David Dangoor launched the UK Israel Dangoor Health Initiative, a flagship program designed to streamline Israeli innovation in digital health into the United Kingdom’s National Health Service (NHS).
“This will be one of the most important things I or the embassy will do all year,” Quarrey said during the launch at his official residence on Monday. “This will deliver Israeli innovation and technology for the good of the British people, because it is clear that the NHS needs to change and innovate. I believe this initiative can have a transformational impact.”
The new initiative is a project of the UK-Israel Tech Hub, a special department of the British Embassy in Israel that is dedicated to developing business relationships between Israeli and UK firms. Working with the hub on the project will be the IBM Alpha Zone, an accelerator that will coordinate among the Israeli participants to provide specific solutions for the NHS. On the British side, DigitalHealth.London will match innovators with NHS needs, and assist them in navigating the UK health environment.
Companies that specialize in big data, predictive analytics, cloud computing, wearables, sensor technology, genomic analysis, networking, or communication technology, all part of the digital health rubric, will be eligible for the program.
“We are in the midst of a bio-health revolution, and Israel is in a supreme position to take advantage and carve a lead in this. So, it is vital that we pool the best minds and energies for the benefit of patients,” said Dangoor, who sponsored the initiative. “With all this new computer power and greater understanding and the breakthrough in genetics, we are absolutely at the threshold of a healthcare revolution and I’m hoping that Israel and the UK will be at the forefront of that, hand in-hand.”
“The UK and Israel both share a dynamic history of blue-sky thinking as evidenced by the number of Nobel Prize winners both countries have. Both are very dynamic and inventive countries with exceptional pools of talent. Hand in hand they could make a powerful combination.”
Also speaking at the launch were Charlie Davie, managing director of UCL Partners, and IBM Israel’s CTO Uri Hayik. Both said that the focus of this initiative is saving lives by using innovation to streamline healthcare.
The project will take place under the auspices of the IBM Alpha Zone program, where each semester, two or three digital health companies will be chosen by IBM and DigitalHealth.London to participate in the Dangoor Health Initiative. This means that, in addition to receiving the usual tech support from IBM, they will also receive mentorship and guidance on the NHS, its operations, and market penetration. Participation will also include a business trip to the UK where the companies will be hosted by DigitalHealth.London and given more in-depth information and introductions, the UK-Israel Tech Hub said.