Prof. Zion Hagay.

“Innovation in health has tremendous financial value”

“Within a decade the number of Israeli digital health companies has grown remarkably by 250%,” added Prof. Zion Hagay, the Chairman of the Israel Medical Association, speaking at The Future Health Matrix conference in Tel Aviv

“In recent years, innovation in health has become the “golden fleece” in the medical profession and beyond, and there are good reasons for that,” said Prof. Zion Hagay, the Chairman of the Israel Medical Association and the head of the Department of Health Systems Management at the Peres Academic Center, in his opening remarks at The Future Health Matrix conference in Tel Aviv. “We are living in an unprecedented era of technological innovation, with health and medicine positioned in the forefront of scientific and technological advancement. These advancements are well noticed in the medical practice, in academia and research, in industrial development and in the business sector.”
Hagay added that “many areas in medicine and health are changing fast, with processes that provide a better application of novel technological and scientific developments. Artificial intelligence based, preventive medicine, and personalized medicine for chronic diseases based on clinical and genomic data are just two examples. Medical breakthroughs based on big data and sophisticated decision-support information systems provide us with a better understanding of the causes of morbidity, as well as diagnosis and treatment. Great emphasis is put on monitoring our health condition and preventing morbidity. Valuable medical information is easily available today to various players in the health system, and at the same time, the patient becomes a more dominant player in the medical process.”
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פרופ' ציון חגי  יור ה הסתדרות ה רפואית
פרופ' ציון חגי  יור ה הסתדרות ה רפואית
Prof. Zion Hagay.
(Photo: Orel Cohen)
According to Hagay, “the Covid-19 pandemic accelerated technological processes and organizational changes in health systems around the world and pushed medical innovation to global prominence. Firstly, I should mention Covid-19 vaccine development; it was possible not only thanks to resources and financial allocations, but also due to an unprecedented mobilization of scientists and pharmaceutical companies around the world who worked around the clock and enabled the development of the vaccines in record time.
We have also seen the rapid development of telemedicine during the pandemic. After the outbreak it became a major tool for patients and physicians alike. Data shows that the usage of telehealth in Israel and worldwide has increased significantly. On top of that, technological companies and startups provided their support to help hospitals deliver virtual care and to assimilate robots in covid departments. Beyond its medical benefit, innovation in health has also tremendous financial value.”

Hagay said that the global digital health market size has been estimated today at $200 billion and is expected to achieve a market size of $1.5 trillion within seven years. “Within a decade the number of Israeli digital health companies has grown remarkably by 250% from 190 companies in 2011 to 665 in 2021.”
“We should also acknowledge that despite its clear value, innovation in health also has many technical, ethical, and legal challenges that we should all bear in mind,” Hagay added. “In particular, we need to consider issues related to privacy, data security, informed consent, and data ownership. Medical innovation is also forcing us to face serious moral and social questions related to fundamental principles of our healthcare system: Equality, universality, and mutual responsibility. We all must ensure that the adoption of innovative healthcare will ensure benefit for all patients, with the purpose of reducing health disparities.”