Israel’s Tel Aviv is the second largest startup ecosystem in the world and is also home to the R&D centres of tech giants like Google, Microsoft, IBM and Apple.
With a population of around 8 million, accompanied by geographic disadvantages and bleak natural resources, Israel did quite well for such a young nation.
Much of this can be accredited to Israel’s flagship initiative ‘Yozma’, back in 1993, to draw in foreign investments with lucrative tax incentives. Around this time, India too, witnessed a major shift in its economic policies as it opened doors for foreign direct investments.
There are other such similarities which these two nations enjoy along with the acquaintance of its top leaders.
Both these nations emerged independent around the same time and even if the circumstances had driven these nations in different directions, their ambitious goal to become a hub for global innovation has brought them together once more.
Global Innovation & Technology Alliance (GITA) on behalf of Department of Science & Technology, Government of India and Israel Innovation Authority (IIA), on behalf of Government of Israel, granted HealthNet Global, a part of the Apollo Hospitals Group, India and Zebra Medical Vision, Israel funding to validate, co-develop and deploy medical imaging Artificial Intelligence (AI) across India and to increase Tuberculosis (TB) screening capabilities in the rural areas.
Apollo Hospitals, is one of India’s first and largest corporate chain of hospitals. A population like that of India, offers a rich resource for data collection. Healthnet Global(HNG), is a part of the Apollo Hospitals Group, which works with Apollo Radiology International by deploying stat-of-the art AI systems to develop efficient healthcare systems in India.
Global leaders in AI Imaging software, Zebra-med and HNG shall jointly receive support from India-Israel Industrial R&D and Technological Innovation Fund (I4F) for their $4.9 Million project to co-develop and to provide clinical validation, and evidence of the efficacy of radiology Al based tools in India as per I4F norms.
Speaking of the initiative, Sangita Reddy, Joint Managing Director, Apollo Hospitals said, “When it comes to health, the promise of AI to provide access and improve outcomes in very intriguing. There is a critical need to provide good healthcare access in remote and rural communities, and we believe this initiative will allow us the opportunity to make significant advances in this area. Apollo’s clinical and scientific depth and Zebra-Med’s expertise in AI complement each other perfectly. This project is part of our continuing endeavor to design new tools to improve healthcare access and deliver the best outcomes to patients at lower cost.”
The partnership will capitalise on the advancements already achieved by Zebra-med in developing dozens of AI tools.
The arsenal of algorithms will include deep learning algorithms for the detection of acute conditions such as brain bleeds in head CTs and Pneumothorax in chest X-ray, detection of breast cancer in mammograms, Osteoporosis in CT scans and 40 other conditions.
“We are excited to partner with the leading healthcare services provider in India and to help bring AI to India at such a scale, “ noted Eyal Gura, Co-founder and CEO of Zebra-Med. “When we met the Indian team for the first time a few years ago we found common ground and similar dream of scaling health care from millions to billions of patients. We are honored that the two Governments have placed their trust in us and we are committed to utilise this opportunity to impact millions of lives.”
The final developed project will be able to assist as a primary screening method for major diseases in large scale screenings.
The grant will aid the partners to focus on the development of India specific algorithms tool which would be of immense benefit to patients across India and other emerging nations.
The efforts of two developing global powerhouses like India and Israel to bring their best of resources to concentrate on the most humane of problems, brings to fore the need for more such collaborations and innovations. And, most importantly the consequences of advancements in the fields of Artificial Intelligence.