Israel to invest $287 million in digital health project

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As big data are going to play the vital role in building future the countries and harness their data and use it to identify new opportunities. Israeli Prime Minister “Benjamin Netanyahu” on Sunday announced that, “The Israeli Govt will be investing 1 billion shekels ( nearly to $287 million) in Big Data health project.” The project will collect the data about the state health of its populations which will be available to the researchers and private companies.

Prime minister Netanyahu in his cabinet said that “This is a major asset and we want to make it available to the researchers and developers to meet two things: one is preventive medicine, and the second is personal medicine tailored to everyone.”

In an interview with Reuters, Nadav Davidovtich head of the School of Public Health at Ben Gurion University in Southern Israel, said that “the country’s drive to take the advantage of big data for medical care which has the enormous potential, but it also has a risk in terms of privacy and medical confidentially.” He also raised its concerns towards the private companies which will get benefits from publicly funded database while continuing to make some drugs unaffordable to many patients.

Whereas, the statement issued by Netanyahu’s office said that “mechanisms would be established to maintain anonymous information while protecting privacy, information security and restricting access as a part of the government’s project.”

The statement also states that “If Patients wants they can reject the use of their information for research.”

Digital health records are valuable. The analysis of Big Data, which compares the information provided by a large number of patients, gives some of the world’s leading pharmaceutical companies indications about the performance of medicines in the real world.

Netanyahu in his statement also added “the world leader and international pharmaceutical firms have already shown their interest in the project and the possible revenue for the Israel could be in billions of dollars.”

All the world’s leading pharmaceutical companies now have departments focused on the use of real-world data across multiple diseases. Several have completed scientific studies using the information to delve into key areas addressed by their medications. Which includes the studies on diabetes by AstraZeneca and Sanofi, a joint research done by Pfizer and Bristol-Myers Squibb on stroke prevention and a Takeda Pharmaceutical project in intestinal diseases.

Currently, all of Israel’s nine million citizens belong to four health maintenance organizations (HMOs) who keep members’ records digitally.

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