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Spotlight: Israel, China boost partnership in healthcare sector

Updated: Mar 27, 2019 Xinhua Print
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JERUSALEM -- Israel and China are strengthening their partnership in the healthcare sector for mutual benefits, participants of a medical conference said Mar 26.

The MEDinISRAEL conference held in the Israeli city of Tel Aviv gathered digital health leaders from around the globe, including China, to discuss the future of health technology.

Both Israel and China are seeking to achieve health technology breakthroughs in order to provide their peoples with a better quality of life in the future, which has motivated them to continue the efforts to boost medical cooperation.

"In the last three years, there is growing cooperation between Israel and China", said Hagai Dror, managing director of Health Care Israel at the Israeli Ministry of Health.

Israel and China have signed over the years a number of agreements, to combine the Israeli innovative technology and knowledge together with Chinese enormous market, which benefits both countries.

"Different Israeli entrepreneurs have opened education centers in China together with local Chinese partners," said Adiv Baruch, chairman of the Israeli Export Institute.

These centers aim to train nurses and doctors with latest health technology and medical skills, and offer additional service within the hospital system, according to Baruch.

One of the Israeli companies that provide international medical training and education to Chinese health professionals is International Medical Academy (IMA ), which aspires to bring Israeli standards of healthcare to Chinese professionals via knowledge transfer, collaboration, and cooperation with senior health experts and leading institutions.

"I am sure that bright future is ahead of us, and I could not wish for better partners than the best hospital managers from China," said Yaki Zinger, chairman of IMA and VP of businesses development in LR Group.

Moreover, there is an alliance between 40 Israeli hospitals and 20 Chinese hospitals, which exchange experience and knowledge, Dror noted.

Chinese representatives in digital healthcare and medical technology actively took part in the fifth MEDinISRAEL Conference, that is held from Monday till Thursday.

Initiated and hosted by the Israeli Export Institute, in cooperation with the Foreign Trade Administration at the Ministry of Economy, Ministry of Health and Ministry of Foreign Affairs, MEDinISRAEL is the most significant event in Israeli health tech field.

This year's conference attracted health officials, senior representatives of hospitals, healthcare funds managers, academics, businesses, and representatives of global health technology companies.

The current conference focuses on topics such as telemedicine, hospital at home, medical internet of things, patient engagement, cybersecurity in healthcare and Virtual Realty and Augmented Realty applications.

Healthcare industry embraces the digital transformation occurring across the globe, perhaps more positively and rapidly than any other industry. Doctors, medical professionals, and healthcare facilities are using the new technology and big data to provide more effective, patient-oriented care and solve problems that were previously unmanageable.

Moshe Bar Siman Tov, director-general of Israeli Ministry of Health touted that Israel "is recognized worldwide as a leader in the medical technologies field."

Israel has produced already, more than 20 years ago, integrative information systems, which constitute today as an infrastructure for groundbreaking initiatives and research.

The systems are putting Israel at the forefront of global innovation by allowing the Ministry of Health to use the information generated to promote Israeli technologies, according to Tov.

"Over 99 percent of the population in Israel has digital medical records. Digital health is a national strategy, Israel has been rated as one of the best and most efficient health care systems in the world," he said.

Israeli health service organization Clalit holds the second largest medical database in the world, while its competitor Maccabi holds the third largest such database.

Israel has invested 1 billion new shekels (about 276 million U.S. dollars) in the implementation of a national digital health strategy.

There are around 500 digital health companies in Israel today, compared with only 150 just two years ago, in a sign showing the rapid growth of this field.

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