Peterburg: Israel can offer world health IT solutions

Israel spends 8% of GDP on health, compared with 17% in the US, with no effect on the public's health.

"Israel spends 8% of GDP on health, compared with 17% of GDP in the US but there is no effect on the public's health or life expectancy. Infant mortality in Israel is 3.2%, and in the US it is closer to 6%," said former Cellcom Israel Ltd. (NYSE:CEL) CEO Prof. Yitzhak Peterburg, who chaired a Health IT forum today at the "Globes" Israel Business Conference.

Also taking part in the panel were Pitango Venture Capital managing general partner Aharon Mankovsky, Ministry of Industry, Trade, and Labor foreign trade administration director Boaz Hirsh, Samuel Neaman Institute senior researcher Dr. Gilead Fortuna, and CliniWorks founder and CEO Nitza Sneh.

Peterburg said that back in the middle of the 1990s Israel was already noted as a leader in providing IT systems in healthcare, and "Beginning in February of this year, the issue is gaining momentum in the US under the auspices of President Barack Obama and his government's healthcare reform . Estimates are for investment of $34-42 billion in installing IT systems in health systems."

Peterburg said that today the country which leads the world in medical automation (health-IT) is Denmark. "You won’t find Israel in any comparison system. My recommendation is for Israel to name health-IT as a national resource, because we have something to offer the world. We need to create a national administration, to set up a central web site, and to be at all the main conferences. We need to invest funds in this sector because today the Chief Scientist is simply not involved in health-IT," concluded Peterburg.

Nitza Sneh said, "The potential in health-IT is $10 billion per year, with annual growth of 7-10%."

Aharon Mankovsky said, "There is no reason that Israel should not lead the health-IT sector. All in all it's a question of awareness."

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - - on December 13, 2009

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2009

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