Israeli expertise in the medical technology sector is already legendary. From robotic exoskeletons enabling paraplegics to walk again, to revolutionary cancer treatments and artificial retinas, millions of lives have been saved and countless more improved by innovations developed in the tiny Jewish state.
Just this week came the news that a treatment devised at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem causes AIDS-infected cells to self-destruct, without harming the rest of the body, reducing virus counts by up to 97%, in only eight days.
Now, two Israeli venture capitalists who are best known for their success in the online entertainment industry, are investigating new ways to create synergy between cutting-edge computing and next-generation pharmaceuticals as well as devices. Investment pioneers Haim Toledano and Saar Pilosof have announced an ambitious twin-pronged strategy of building international consortiums and backing radical start-ups in Israel and beyond, in order to push forward the exponential and inexorable growth of smart medical tech.
“Most people are familiar with the concept of the ‘internet of things’,” Toledano explains. “Wearable tech is fast becoming ubiquitous, especially in the fitness and wellness fields. Our own expertise is in what many are now calling the “internet of us” – applied big data and omni-channel personalization. What we’re anticipating is rapid convergence between these two areas in the field of health, medicine, and proactive diagnostics.”
“Intelligent systems integrated with the very latest medical technology will create what you could call the ‘internet of me’ – or the ‘internet within,’ if you prefer.”
In a wide-ranging presentation, Toledano and Pilosof explained how they intend to leverage both personalized systems and big data gleaned across a wide range of population segments to deliver individualized health services at low cost in the coming years.
They spoke at length about the huge potential of personal genomics, explaining how cloud-based software can combine a user’s precise genetic information with up-to-the-minute information based on diet, lifestyle, stress, and atmospheric factors.
Diagnostics through correlation and cross-referencing of big data as well as through personal sensors is another area of particular focus. In addition, pill-sized cameras and remote-controlled nanotech systems for 360-degree monitoring as well as drug delivery is another technique they are looking into.
Toledano’s huge number of personal connections across countless disciplines, his reputation for building the most intelligent online platforms, and deserved reputation for picking winning ideas are the factors at the core of a plan that is already making waves across the Israeli stock market.
“We are looking for companies that offer the perfect balance between innovation and lifesaving ideas. As we strive to better the technology we want, we can sometimes forget to focus on the technology we need. Now we’re fixing that,” Toledano concluded.