Haifa’s Ecosystem is Leading Digital Health in the Post-COVID Era


• Eight Israeli startups that graduated from the Startup City Haifa digital health accelerator have developed technologies that will improve healthcare. Some of them are already in negotiations for distribution contracts and global collaborations.
• The program is led by: NVIDIA Inception Program, Road2, JVP, Margalit Startup City, and the Israel Innovation Authority, in partnership with Super-Pharm, Clalit Health Services, IBM, Philips, U-Bank, the Technion, Haifa University and others.
• Innovations include sensor analysis from your mobile phone to prevent psychological deterioration and suicide, early detection of strokes and heart disease through a telephone conversation, an electronic stethoscope that listens to the sounds of the body and detects heart and lung diseases, a dramatic improvement in vision through image processing in the brain, and a bot for over-the-counter medication.

Erel Margalit, chairman of JVP and Margalit Startup City: “The world of health must go through a revolution; from large medical centers to technologies that offer treatment in the community and at home, remotely and in a personalized and precise manner. This is the revolution that Israel needs to lead from here and from Haifa.”

November 24, 2022, Haifa, Israel – The post-COVID era has transformed the global health system, posing significant challenges that call for ground-breaking technological developments. The big problem created an opportunity for the Israeli tech industry and generated significant growth in Israeli innovation in the digital health sector.

While Israel is fast becoming a leading player in digital health, in Haifa – Israel’s northern metropolis – an exciting new ecosystem is under active development, connecting private and public partners: investors, academic and research institutions, multinational corporations, medical institutions and startups. This process aims to lead the next phase in global medicine and develop a new area of international excellence in digital health.

Startup City Haifa is a digital health accelerator that was launched last June to identify promising startups in the field and accelerate their transition to the next level. So far it has successfully brought together leading partners including the NVIDIA Inception Project, Road2, JVP, Margalit Startup City and the Israel Innovation Authority, in partnership with Super-Pharm, Clalit Health Services, IBM, Philips, U-Bank (owned by FIBI), the Takwin Fund, the Technion, Haifa University, Rambam Hospital, Bnai Zion, AWS, Asensus and others.

While over 120 companies submitted applications, only eight were selected to take part. When choosing the companies, emphasis was placed on mature companies with market validation, technological developments at various stages, and activity in the global market.

The Haifa digital health accelerator aims to empower startups to become excellent companies, with a focus on startups in series A funding. Each startup received a program tailored to its technological and business needs, suited to their well-established nature. The companies also received tools, resources, knowledge and expertise, as well as fruitful cooperation with the partners and mentors in the program. This increased the value of the startups and offered opportunities for partnerships between leading Israeli and international corporations in the field.

The participating startups enjoyed significant achievements, including: a pilot program in the USA, closing a funding round, a pilot program in Israel with an extensive network, finalizing distribution contracts, building global collaborations, starting clinical research in Israel and more. In light of the program’s success, registration for the second round of the program has now opened.

The eight startups chosen to take part in the Startup City Haifa digital health accelerator are:
1. RevitalVision: Vision-training Software for Improving Eyesight (CNS) RevitalVision is developing a clinically and scientifically proven vision-training software program designed specifically for adult amblyopia, eye diseases, and vision impairments. The non-surgical, FDA-approved technology enhances eyesight neurologically, with claimed efficacy in improving vision in cases of adult amblyopia, which affects 2%-5% of the world’s population.
Website: https://www.revitalvision.com/

2. ApoWiser: Digital Pharmacist Platform for Advice on OTC Medications (SNC)
   ApoWiser is the developer of PharmAssist, an advanced intuitive digital pharmacist counseling platform that interacts with patients wishing to treat themselves for minor ailments with over-the-counter medications. The platform provides personal on-demand assistance 24/7 for online selection and purchase of over-the-counter medication.
   Website: https://www.apowiser.com/.

3. Sequel.Care Health: Evidence-based Mental Health Platform (CNS)
   Sequel.Care provides healthcare providers, patients, and peers with virtual, collaborative, evidence-based therapy, enabling proactive treatment to manage and track patients’ recovery. The company’s solution integrates clinicians, psychiatrists, therapists, peers, family, friends, and the patients themselves around a unified treatment plan. The technology collects data signals from caregivers, the person’s smartphone, and wearable sensors. The data is then translated into actionable insights, facilitating the right treatment at the right time.
   Website: https://www.sequel.care/

4. OpenDNA: Precision Genomic Artificial Intelligence for Polygenic Diseases (CNS)
   OpenDNA is developing an AI platform that combines clinical and genomic data analysis for polygenic diseases. The platform allows healthcare providers and payers to easily apply genomic precision medicine and population genomics approaches. OpenDNA’s first focus is hypertension. The company is extending the platform to other chronic disease states such as diabetes, hypercholesterolemia, cardiometabolic states, and neurologic and psychiatric conditions.
   Website: https://www.open-dna.com/

5. Cardiokol: Voice-based Markers for Large-scale Monitoring and Screening of Heart Rhythm Disorders (SNC) Cardiokol is a privately-owned digital telehealth company that develops voice-based markers and methods for monitoring and screening heart rhythm disorders in large at-risk populations. The company utilizes proprietary technology that is implemented in speech platforms such as landlines, smartphones, smart speakers, and voice assistants. Cardiokol offers low-cost, long-term, and user-friendly monitoring solutions, applicable for monitoring at-risk populations of older adults (65+).
   Website: https://www.cardiokol.com/

6. BoBO: Smart Fitness and Rehabilitation Tools (SNC(
   bo&bo specializes in developing simple and accessible fitness and rehabilitation tools. By turning traditional training products into wireless, integrative, smart training platforms, bo&bo helps motivate people to stick with their training programs, making workouts more challenging, engaging, and fun
   Website: https://www.bobo-balance.com/

7. Sanolla: Smart Diagnostics Solutions (CNS) Sanolla develops medical diagnosis and patient monitoring solutions using patented AI-based infrasound auscultation technology.      Sanolla’s products include the VoqX smart stethoscope and the PyXy home monitoring device for chronic disease management and early exacerbation detection. Leveraging both audible and infrasound body acoustics, Sanolla’s AI algorithms provide disease classification for many cardiopulmonary diseases, including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, pneumonia, asthma, congestive heart failure, and cardiac morbidities.
   Website: https://sanolla.com/

8. MDIHealth: Artificial Pharmacology Intelligence Platform (CNS) MDI Health has developed an artificial pharmacology intelligence platform capable of performing multi-dimensional context-based analyses of thousands of pharmacological and patient-specific parameters to autonomously optimize personal medication regimens across the entire population. The company’s powerful artificial intelligence is used by payers and value-based providers to identify high-risk patients for adverse drug events, make changes to reduce those risks in real-time, and execute those recommendations, ultimately reducing total costs of care and improving quality.
   Website: https://www.mdihealth.com/

Erel Margalit, chairman of JVP and Margalit Startup City: “The ecosystem in Haifa in the digital health field will be similar to the foodtech revolution we are creating in the Galilee. The world of health must go through a revolution; from large medical centers to technologies that offer treatment in the community and at home, remotely and in a personalized and precise manner. This is the revolution that Israel needs to lead from here and from Haifa.”

“We are delighted to see how Road2’s digital activities are taking off and are proud of the participants’ achievements,” said Eitan Kyiet, CEO Road2. “Together with our wonderful partners, we are eager to see what the next Haifa-based cohorts shall achieve in the City and how they shall advance digital health in Haifa”.

Prof. Ran Blitzer, Head of the Innovation Wing in Clalit Health Services and Director of the Clalit Research Institute: “The accelerated development of a variety of solutions in the world of digital health, together with the unique status of Clalit as the largest health body in Israel both in the community and as the leader of 14 hospitals throughout the country, allows for unique developments and combinations of technological solutions to promote the quality of medical care, which provide answers to our most urgent challenges. Our partnership with the accelerator allows us to professionally assess the clinical need for technologies and the potential that startups in these fields possess. As evidence, 5 of the 8 selected companies are already in contracting procedures at various stages with Clalit – from initial exposure to a pilot that is already being carried out in the field.”

Shawn Koffler, Head of Innovation at Super-Pharm online: “Super-Pharm sees great value in the JVP partnership because together we promote Israeli startups and strengthen the ecosystem in Israel and to promote their success abroad. We were inspired by the Israeli entrepreneurs that are providing innovation solutions to medical problems and we are excited about the projects that are developing with some of the 2022 cohort and are looking forward to future opportunities.”

Yaniv Alon, Director of Hadassah Accelerator powered by IBM Alpha Zone:” An acceleration program that brings results for the startups that participate in it, is mainly a product of work that is based on wise collaborations and a strong motivation to bring about a significant change. I met all of these in my joint work as an IBM representative with the leaders of the accelerator Margalit Startup City – Haifa. I am happy for the opportunity to work with people who have set themselves the goal of helping ventures and influencing the field of digital health and strengthening the position of Haifa and the northern region as leaders in the field. Looking back at the end of the first cohort, I have no doubt that the people, the spirit and the vision that leads the JVP VC to deepen the grip of the fields of innovation in remote areas, is the one that produces results also within the Digital Health Accelerator in the Haifa and the North region and will continue to produce results for many years to come.”
Avigdor Avni, Head of U-Bank, FIBI: “U-Bank Tech is a unique banking brand that specializes in banking for startup and technology companies, and we are proud to work with and support Margalit Startup City – Haifa, as it drives the development and growth of new companies and technologies in the healthcare and medical industry.”

Michael Mitrani, VP E-commerce and Marketing at Super-Pharm online: “Super-Pharm sees great value in the JVP partnership because together we work to promote Israeli startups and strengthen the ecosystem in Israel as well as promoting their success abroad. We were inspired by the Israeli entrepreneurs providing innovation solutions to medical problems, and we are excited about the potential future opportunities with the 2022 cohort’s projects.”

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