Nordic Delegation Examines Rabin's COVID Innovations

A team of 30 doctors, medical innovation professionals as well as pharma representatives from some of the top hospitals in Denmark and Sweden recently visited Israel’s Rabin Medical Center.

“The purpose of the delegation was to look at and learn about the way that the government, the hospitals, industry and innovators can work together in a concerted way,” said Magnus Bjorsne, the CEO of AstraZeneca’s BioVentureHub. “Innovation is a collaborative endeavor... and there are a lot of initiatives in Israel, and we are interested in understanding how they are being implemented.”

A special focus was placed on data sharing and the way that Israel’s electronic health record data, the secret sauce behind the country’s stunning and rapid vaccination campaign, could be scrubbed of identifiers and shared for the sake of research.

Director of Israel’s Rabin Medical Center Eytan Wirtheim said that since COVID there has been an increase in the interest in promoting innovation in hospitals worldwide, as the virus pushed the medical establishment to reevaluate its practices and look for innovative ways to treat patients during difficult times.

Rabin Medical Center has put a focus on innovation, including launching a program that enables every staff member, from top doctors to nurses and other healthcare aides, to present their own innovative ideas for development consideration. Every idea is vetted by a team and an analysis of its viability is undertaken to see if it is feasible. If so, then a project plan is put together, and the hospital aims to implement it.

In recent years, the hospital began using artificial intelligence to better identify the border of tumors in urinary bladder cancer, and implemented a new method for being able to track patients under sedation so that if something happens during a procedure, staff can see it and treat it in real time. Both of these processes came out of ideas generated by the hospital’s staff.

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