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Texas-Israel Alliance Medical Partnership

The future of healthcare is digital. Israel is a world leader in digital healthcare and telehealth, and the Texas-Israel Alliance is bringing this innovation to Texas.

Digital healthcare is making medicine more personable and accessible, improving medical technology, and revolutionizing the current healthcare system. Israel’s position as a world leader in healthcare is in large part driven by the Israeli government’s encouragement of this innovative ecosystem. As a result, a significant number of startup companies are created, grown, and continue to improve modern medicine. In 2019, Israeli digital health startups raised a record-breaking $662 million across 69 deals, according to Start-Up Nation Central.

Sheba Medical Center is the largest healthcare facility in Israel and is an important contributor to the growing world of digital healthcare alongside startups. Recently ranked by Newsweek as the 9th-best hospital in the world, Sheba is an epicenter for advanced medicine, quality patient care, and scientific research.

The Texas-Israel Alliance is currently in the process of developing a partnership between the University of Texas System and Sheba Medical Center, which will focus on digital healthcare, artificial intelligence, telehealth, and many other areas of innovation.

This ambitious project from the Texas-Israel Alliance aims to establish a major medical partnership hub within the next several years. Centered around medical innovation, this hub could include University of Texas System institutions such as the UT Southwestern Medical Center, the UT Health Science Center at Houston and at San Antonio, and the UT Medical Branch at Galveston. As it continues to expand, this partnership could potentially reach hospitals in the Arabian Gulf.

Both Sheba Medical Center and the University of Texas are world-renowned for their excellence in treating patients, conducting vital research, and discovering medical breakthroughs. Notably, the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center has done extensive work on many significant medical specialties including cancer, diabetes, preventative medicine, cardiology, and transplants.

Sheba Medical Center also focuses on cancer research, orthopedics, and cardiology. Sheba housed the cardiologist who masterminded the valve used in trans-catheter aortic valve replacement procedure. Used to unclog the arteries, it is now common in heart surgeries around the world.

As it continues to spread, the COVID-19 pandemic has redefined normalcy around the world. Many medical centers are performing important research on a potential coronavirus vaccine as the necessity increases.

Partnerships between countries are vital to solving the COVID-19 healthcare emergency, and the introduction of new medical technologies into the search for a vaccine could accelerate its development. By forming an alliance between healthcare leaders in both Israel and Texas, shared digital healthcare advancements can be more widely used to help solve the current crisis.

To encourage these relationships, U.S. Senator Ted Cruz is currently leading endeavors to form a bilateral cooperation program to further collaboration between the United States and Israel. This funding could expedite the partnership currently underway between Sheba Medical Center and the University of Texas, and the Texas-Israel Alliance is working closely with the staff of Senator Cruz to make this happen.

Senator Cruz, with the support of other senators, understands the urgent need for a vaccine and the necessity of constant medical innovation. A joint effort between Sheba Medical Center and the University of Texas System, two medical powerhouses, could prove highly valuable to ending this pandemic.

Beyond coronavirus there are a myriad of opportunities for these facilities to benefit from a partnership. Nationally recognized research conducted throughout the University of Texas System could augment Sheba’s research, while exciting innovation originating at Sheba could benefit Texas.

Innovation in the development of a coronavirus vaccine is only one advantage of startup companies; they also play an important role in the evolution of healthcare. Sheba Medical Center recognized the value of startups through the formation of ARC, which stands for “Accelerate, Redesign, Collaborate.” ARC is Sheba Medical Center’s new innovation center, where technologies developed by Israeli startups can be fast-tracked. It is described by ARC’s chief innovation officer Dr. Eyal Zimlichan as “a living ecosystem embarking on a mission to redesign healthcare” where ARC attempts “to meet ever-growing challenges”.

The digital health priorities of ARC include personalized medicine, tele-medicine, and big data/artificial intelligence such as predictive analytics and digital imaging analysis. The digitization of healthcare allows people access to sufficient resources while eliminating the need for interpersonal contact. These advances in healthcare could provide an extra measure of safety post-COVID-19 and assist in the modernization of the Texas healthcare system.

The vision for ARC is to support the ever-changing world of startup innovation by bringing Israel and international players together into a space where research and innovation are shared to “accelerate innovation and lead to game changing solutions aimed at redesigning healthcare.”

The Texas-Israel Alliance shares ARC’s vision of a shared space devoted to the advancement of healthcare. Collaboration broadens the scope of medical innovation and leads to a wider spread of valuable information. The enhancement of research resulting from a partnership between medical world leaders involving Sheba Medical Center and the University of Texas System holds unlimited potential to improve healthcare in both Texas and Israel.

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Oct 11, 2021

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