By Goel Jasper, Managing Partner, Digital Health Innovation Leader, Finn Partners
A Host of FINN Voices
Israel is not so big on formality. In fact, when I moved here almost 18 years ago, I left my suits behind. I wouldn’t be needing them in this country, where even a jacket is a rare sight at a wedding, let alone a trade show or conference.
And even though Israel is not big on formality, this small country in the Middle East – a country with both a population and land mass that are similar to New Jersey – hosted four health events, two of which are truly global in nature, simultaneously over the past two weeks.
The Future of Health Leadership Symposium, the Global Wellness Summit, MIXiii HealthTech and mHealth Israel’s own annual start-up conference, all took place during the same time frame, but there was little celebration regarding the speed with which Israel has become a significant player in the world of health innovation.
- Future of Health counts as its key members the following, among others:
- Stanford Health Care
- Brigham and Women’s
- University Hospital Zurich
- Johns Hopkins Medicine
- Karolinska University Hospital (Sweden)
- Centre Hospitalier de l’Université de Montréal
- Federation of American Hospitals
- Global Wellness Summit included participants from:
- United Kingdom
- United States
- Hong Kong
It’s objectively astounding that Israel would play host to such global players. And it is an honor for me – and for FINN Partners – to be part of this health innovation arrival and growth in Israel. As exciting as these past two weeks were for Israel, it is this week that really signifies how Israel has arrived on the health innovation scene, and what we can look forward to in the near future. Why?
This: The Global State of Digital Health Report
This report, released by Galen Growth, a leading research firm dedicated to global digital health analytics, covers venture funding in digital health across the globe during the first nine months of 2022. As I read through the report, Israel absolutely leapt off the page. Here are three major takeaways from the report that highlight the strength of Israel’s digital health innovation position:
- Israel has seen investment in digital health go from approximately $650m in 2020 to $1.1 billion in 2022 (through nine months). It is the only region that will see in uptick in investment from 2021-2022. As has been written about extensively, 2021 was a year where digital health investment went bananas, due to all the start-up activity that materialized from the COVID-19 pandemic. And while every other region saw all-time high levels of investment in 2021, Israel is the only region that is seeing continued growth in 2022. All other regions have, so to speak, come back down to Earth.
- While deal size has decreased for Europe, Asia and North America, Israel’s deal size continues to increase. In fact, it has increased steadily – year-by-year – since 2018, a dynamic it shares with only South America, which has seen steady growth as well, but with a much more modest base.
- Israel has received 13% of global funding for medical diagnostics, 9% of wellness and 8% of patient solutions. Given Israel’s size, even a 5% share of global funding would be tremendous.
Of course, with such clear data supporting Israel’s success, we must ask the question:
How? How has Israel done it?
It can’t be as simple as “Well, Start-up Nation!” That might have been a fair explanation for the general hi-tech (cyber, telecom, wireless, automotive) success of this country, but health innovation is held to a higher standard, both in terms of the required regulatory rigor and the need for clinical/real world evidence.
Well, in fact, this new report gives us some insight into the answer. Take a look at these items from the report:
- The report states: “Globally, 17% of ventures have an Evidence Signal > 40, indicating that they have either a registered Clinical Trial, a Regulatory Filing or multiple peer-reviewed publications.” Israel has the most such ventures, 20% of all digital health ventures. As comparison, North America and Europe each come in at 19%.
- Out of 316 global regulatory filings that took place during Q1-Q3, 44 of them are from Israel. That’s 14% of all regulatory filings, even though Israel only received 4% of global funding during the nine-month time frame.
The takeaway? Israel has strong respect for the value of clinical evidence in health innovation. Add to that the importance of health system partners like Sheba Medical Center, who eagerly provide clinical settings for running such studies, and the recipe for success is there.
That’s important because it signifies the sustainability of the ecosystem. An ecosystem that does things properly, and is not trying to cut corners, is destined for long-term success.
For years, I’ve been saying that Israel innovation is all about taking what is already being done, and doing it faster, cheaper, and/or more efficiently. But what we are seeing from health innovation in this country is next-level, because it combines those traditional traits of Israeli innovation with an understanding that health systems around the world are complex and, in many cases, fragmented.
So, Israel, the casual country where a suit and tie is a rare sight, even at a conference, has made it its business to be completely buttoned up for the sake of providing innovation that can make it into the global health systems.
This is a sponsored article from Finn Partners.