Senior leaders at the biggest organisations in Britain’s healthcare industry have heard from a delegation of Israeli healthcare start-ups during their visit to London.
The Monday night event featured companies such as Care UK, Walgreens Boots Alliance, AWS and AstraZeneca alongside the NHS’s new digital unit NHSX, which is headed by Matthew Gould, the former UK ambassador to Israel.
The ten Israeli start-ups were in London as part of TeXchange, a programme from the UK Israel Tech Hub, a UK government initiative which matches innovative Israeli companies with bigger British corporates.
Pitching to executives, entrepreneurs, academics and government officials in London this week were Israelis working in predictive diagnosis, artificial intelligence, machine learning, telemedicine, wearables, sensors and connected devices.
Alongside the ten Israeli outfits were several from different countries including Kenya, South Africa, India and Nigeria, making 14 companies in all, offering a range of solutions designed to empower patients and doctors.
One offered an app that reads a patient’s vital signs using visual cues only, another has developed “an AI persona built to answer your questions on sexual and reproductive health,” while another has designed a “robot therapist” that “could ultimately replace the human therapist”.
Gould’s NHSX could be a big customer, given that the unit is responsible for the NHS’s adoption of artificial intelligence, cyber security, data management system, digital and technology strategy, e-referrals and the NHS App.
The NHS has been the source of concern in recent months, with suggestions that British Prime Minister Boris Johnson may buckle to US President Donald Trump’s demands that Britain’s universal health-care provider pays market rate for US drugs.
Technological advances promise to save time, money and waste, and are a key part of the Government’s ten-year plan for the NHS, which began last year, and includes a new £250 million Artificial Intelligence Lab.
“Israeli tech has already proven its dominance in AI, computer vision, big data analytics and predictive analytics, to name but a few,” said Samuel Cronin at the UK Israel Tech Hub, ahead of the visit.
Neil Wigan, British Ambassador to Israel, said healthcare innovation had become “increasingly important to the UK, and could benefit greatly from Israel’s medical technology capabilities”.
Gould said: “In predictive analysis, Israel has made impressive progress on population health, and NHS can learn from its experience”.