Zebra's AI system to prioritize cases in Israel's health services

Eyal Gura Photo: Alon Ron

Zebra will receive a grant as part of the Innovation Authority's program to help Israeli companies get products into Israel's health system.

The systems of Zebra Medical Vision will soon be installed in the clinics and hospitals of Clalit Health Services and Maccabi Health Services, as well as Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center (Ichilov Hospital), which has Israel's largest emergency room. A grant of several million dollars by the Israel Innovation Authority, which will make this possible, is but one of a series of grants provided by the Innovation Authority to digital health companies for the purpose of integrating their products in the Israeli health system, instead of looking exclusively to overseas markets.

Zebra Medical is a global leader in the use of image processing and artificial intelligence (AI) in radiology. Its product helps analyze medical images. The Innovation Authority grant will enable Zebra Medical's systems to reach 90% of Israel's patients. The company's products have already been successfully installed in a number of hospitals around the world, but their adoption in Israel is lagging behind.

CEO Eyal Gura and CTO Eyal Toledano, graduates of the Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya entrepreneurship program, and SVP Elad Benjamin founded Zebra Medical in 2014. The company's image analysis encompasses X-rays, CT scans, and mammography, while specializing in a number of body organs.

Zebra Medical's product helps radiologists prioritize the images that appear the most urgent and indicates the areas in which a pathological finding is likely. The company's technology is designed to help radiologists cope with their workload, not to replace them.

Maccabi Health Services will use Zebra Medical's technology as a second opinion for breast cancer diagnoses in mammography. Clalit Health Services will connect all of the doctors in its community, so that they can receive alerts about patients at high risk of diseases such as osteoporosis and heart disease. Sourasky Medical Center will install the systems for prioritizing imaging queues in order to bring urgent cases to the top of the list and relieve the queue in the emergency room.

"Ichilov is a leading institution in emergency medicine. As such, we emphasize being in the forefront of technology in the field," says Sourasky Medical Center CEO Prof. Ronni Gamzu. "Through us, Zebra Medical Vision's solutions will affect how hundreds of thousands of images a year, and will help our staff analyze more quickly and efficiently."

Gura says, "The Innovation Authority's decision to fund installment of an innovative Israeli technology in local health systems will be doubly beneficial. It will improve the quality of medicine for patients, help doctors streamline the process, and prioritize queues for image analysis. It will help startups looking for feedback close to home. Finally, the country will enjoy reduced health costs in the long term through early detection."

The combination of man and machine will raise the quality of cancer treatment to new heights," said Maccabitech Institute of Research and Innovation director Prof. Varda Shalev. "The integration of Zebra Medical's data in the identification process will lead to earlier and more precise detection of breast cancer, which is essential for successful treatment."

Clalit Research Institute founding director Ran Balicer added, "Cooperation between Clalit Health Services and Zebra Medical will enable Clalit to detect the risk of large groups that have undergone imaging tests for various reasons, thereby improving treatment quality for policyholders… Clalit Health Services want to provide its policyholders with the most advanced technologies."

Innovation Authority CEO Aharon Aharon commented, "We believe that digital health will be a strategic growth engine for the Israeli economy, so we're promoting the pilot programs. Zebra Medical Vision was selected as one of the leading companies that will be a standard bearer for promoting Israeli digital health."

Zebra Medical announced this month that it had obtained two CE approvals for marketing in Europe for algorithms warning of urgent and life-threatening situations before the image reaches the radiologist through a queue. The system can detect these cases before the radiologist even sees the image, for example a hole in the lung or a brain hemorrhage. This is actually the first time that an AI solution prioritizes urgent cases in both X-rays and CT scans.

Zebra Medical completed a $30 million financing round in the second half of 2018, and has now raised a total of $50 million from investors such as Johnson & Johnson; the aMoon fund; Morris Kahn's Aurum Ventures; OurCrowd and its digital health fund, Qure; Vinod Khosla; Salesforce CEO Mark Benioff; Intermountain Healthcare; and Nvidia.

Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on March 11, 2019

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2019

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Eyal Gura Photo: Alon Ron
Eyal Gura Photo: Alon Ron
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