Covid-19 has made medical data analysts a hot commodity
Public health systems and the entire medtech sector rely on a very limited pool of trained professionals
In Israel, there are currently about 500 people working as medical data analysts in the various organizations and the demand for them is only increasing. In addition, there is a huge demand for such professionals in biomed and infomed companies, venture capital funds that deal with the field of medicine or digital health, and medical startups.
"The need for manpower exists now and will only increase. The coronavirus pandemic has accelerated the need and freed up blockages even in the national health services. There is no choice, anyone who wants to be a player in the medical arena will have to train personnel to analyze and manage their data,” said Dr. Refael Barkan, head of the Research Innovation and International Ventures Authority at Holon Institute of Technology (HIT) and the founder of its Digital Technologies in Medicine program.
According to April 2020 figures from tech placement company Ethosia, the salary of an inexperienced data analyst ranges from NIS 10,000-12,000 ($3,000-3,500) per month, analysts with two years of experience earn between NIS 12,000 to NIS 16,000 ($3,500 - $4,700) per month, and those with five to eight years under their belts can earn NIS 17,000 to 24,000 ($5,000 - $7,000) a month. An analyst team leader earns between NIS 24,000 and 26,000 ($7,000 -$7,600) a month, and an experienced manager with five or more years of experience earns between NIS 27,000 and NIS 30,000 ($7,900-$8,800) a month.
There are two types of medical data, the first is the traditional, medical file found in HMOs and hospitals. The second type is the information generated by the patients themselves in smartwatches, mobile apps, and virtual visits.
Barkan said that the training process for the role is long due to its complexity. “Even people with a background in computer science and biology will take at least a year to be efficient in the industry," he said. Though the need for data medical analyst is urgent, there is currently no dedicated program or provisional conversion track to satisfy the demand. HIT has a program for undergraduate studies in digital technologies in medicine that will address the need in a few years, but not immediately, he said.