From July 3 to 7, 2022, ELNET Germany traveled to Germany as part of the German Israeli Network of Startups & Mittelstand (GINSUM), and in cooperation with GIHF-AI, with a delegation of 24 high-level participants to Israel again to build on the great success of the first GINSUM Digital Health Delegation in November 2021. This had impressively shown how valuable a close exchange between Germany and Israel is in the field of digital health. The representatives from the health care industry, incl. large companies and startups, the German Federal Ministry of Health, and the German media landscape were offered an exciting and diverse program, in cooperation with ELNET’s Israeli office, which allowed them to immerse themselves in the dynamic Israeli ecosystem.
The Israeli healthcare system is one of the most modern and digitized in the world. The patient data of the approximately 9 million inhabitants has been available in digitized form for more than 20 years, and the high density of digital health startups is also impressive. Currently, there are well over 700, with both the number and the level of investment increasing – a state of affairs that Germany can only dream of at present. With a more extensive pool of IT talent and better access to venture capital than in this country, the starting position for young technology companies in Israel is extremely favorable. The breakthrough technologies in patient monitoring, diagnostics and therapy developed in Israel are used worldwide.
Meanwhile, many Israeli startups are looking to Germany, Europe’s largest healthcare market. In order to understand what lies behind Israel’s recipe for success with regard to the development of startups in the healthcare sector, what Germany can learn in this area, and to explore opportunities for cooperation at the business level, GINSUM also put together a diverse program for the participants in the new edition of the Digital Health Delegation.
To provide a deeper understanding of the country and, by extension, its unique healthcare ecosystem, former ARD correspondent and journalist Richard C. Schneider on the arrival evening with excellent Israeli food, a profound insight into the current political situation in Israel. The governing alliance of eight parties has lost its majority after one year, and new elections will be held in early November for the fifth time in three years. Nevertheless, or precisely because of this, the innovation mill does not stand still. Regardless of the difficult-to-predict political situation and ongoing security concerns, the digital health ecosystem is booming. Or maybe just because of that?
Among other things, the presentation at the AHK Israel on the first day may lead to this conclusion. The young country with its innovative and entrepreneurial spirit, the “chutzpah” and the necessary self-confidence, as well as great drive and knowledge, is not only making a virtue out of necessity in the health sector.
The following days of the trip were characterized by exciting startup pitches and presentations at the cooperation partner of the trip Start-Up Nation Central, visits to hospital innovation and research hubs such as the Hadasit in Hadassah Medical Center and the IMed in the Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center (Ichilov) where Prof. Dr. Ronni Gamzu, CEO Ichilov and member of the Board of Trustees of German Israeli Health Forum for Artificial Intelligence (GIHF-AI), welcomed the delegation and gave an inspiring keynote speech. In addition to a visit to the Israeli Ministry of Health, where the delegation met Yoel Ben-Or, Head of Policy Digital Health, to discuss Israel’s digital health legislative situation, the program also included a visit to the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial and a guided tour of Jerusalem’s Old City. Another highlight of the trip was the Mental Health Event focusing on Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) on the last day, organized in cooperation with health.il took place and was hosted by Germany’s best-known TV and Internet doctor Dr. Johannes Wimmer, delegation participant and also GIHF-AI Board of Trustees member, was moderated. The presentation of groundbreaking therapies by three startups led to a lively discussion about mental health, a topic ELNET Germany will continue to address.
Carsten Ovens, Executive Director ELNET Germany, summed up the trip: “The digital transformation of the German healthcare system can be significantly accelerated by know-how and technology from Israel. Against this background, ELNET is intensively engaged in the exchange between both countries with GINSUM and GIHF-AI and supports the emergence of new cooperations. The networks we established were certainly further strengthened and expanded by the intensive program of this second Digital Health Delegation. To be continued.”
If you are interested in the detailed program, a link to the visited startups and institutions of the trip or in future activities of ELNET in the context of Digital Health, please feel free to contact our team.