US e-health giant teams with BGU to foster database start-ups

AllScripts Healthcare is working with Ben Gurion University’s ‪Center for Digital Innovation to develop the next generation of health-oriented software

(L to R): Boaz Lavie, a CDI founder; Ben Gurion University Dean Rivka Carmi; Beersheba Mayor Rubik Danilovich; Ziv Ofek, CDI CEO; Sharon Sasportas, a CDI founder, at the opening of CDI , August 30 2015 (Shai Shmuel)
(L to R): Boaz Lavie, a CDI founder; Ben Gurion University Dean Rivka Carmi; Beersheba Mayor Rubik Danilovich; Ziv Ofek, CDI CEO; Sharon Sasportas, a CDI founder, at the opening of CDI , August 30 2015 (Shai Shmuel)

AllScripts Healthcare, one of the world’s biggest e-health record technology firms, has partnered with Ben-Gurion University of the Negev’s Center for Digital Innovation (CDI)‬ to create the CDI-Allscripts Lab.

Located in Beersheba, the lab will, its sponsors hope, become Israel’s center for research and development of apps for electronic health records, networking, collaboration, information-sharing, and compliance.

Tech developed at the lab will be based on Allscripts Open APIs, a platform that allows developers to integrate apps and programs with electronic health record databases, integrating the manifold languages and programming technologies that have been used over the years and enabling each to understand the other. The apps developed by entrepreneurs and start-ups at the CDI-Allscripts Lab will be fast-tracked to the US market, providing, the institution said, an opportunity for start-ups to acquire customers they would most likely have not otherwise had the opportunity to reach.

AllScripts was actually a charter member of CDI, Ben-Gurion University’s “one-stop shop” for start-up success. The program is a thorough prep school for Israeli start-ups, working with them on developing their technology and helping them develop business plans that will appeal to the American partners CDI intends to work with, as well as developing a practical approach to bringing their technology to market within a short period of time.

The program is so important, said Professor Rivka Carmi, dean of BGU, that CDI “has the ability to turn the University, and the entire Negev, into the world’s engine for innovation. This is the essence of Zionism today – taking Israel’s knowhow and capabilities and using them to make the world a better place.”

Unlike other accelerators, said CDI director Ziv Ofek, a start-up will not engage with potential investors or clients until they are at the top of their game. “By the time the start-ups are ready for the American market, they will be more than ready,” said Ofek. “We won’t let them go until they we know they are going to succeed. It’s a lot cheaper to fail in the Negev than in New York. Right now there is no accelerator in Israel with that kind of approach.”

The first start-ups to work with CDI are those in the medical technology area, which Ofek is intimately familiar with; he is the former CEO of an Israeli start-up called DBMotion, a company that connects medical records in hospitals, clinics, and doctors’ offices, providing fast access to patient records to all parties who need them. DBMotion was bought out by AllScripts in 2006 for $235 million.

Tempted by that first taste of Israeli tech, AllScripts wants more – and it believes that CDI has the tools needed to ensure that start-ups produce the best technology possible for the US market.

“The cooperation between AllScripts and CDI serves our commitment and vision to promote innovation in Israel and around the world through an open connected community of care,” said Rich Berner, president, International and Sunrise Business Unit of AllScripts. “CDI introduces a unique platform for growing innovation, and we believe that the Allscripts-CDI lab will generate many new exciting technologies for the US and global healthcare community.”

“We are honored to have this collaboration with AllScripts, which will drive a unique platform to promote innovation and start-ups in Israel,” said Ofek. “AllScripts is a leader in the healthcare information industry with a huge footprint in the US. This partnership will empower entrepreneurs in the digital healthcare space in their attempts to penetrate the US market. This deal, along with the unique ecosystem of Ben-Gurion University, its medical school, and collaborations with hospitals positions us as a new innovation center forming a new paradigm.”

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