Four winning Israeli companies in a joint program with TJU


Israel Innovation Authority and Thomas Jefferson University announce the four winners of a joint program valued at a total of $1 million to develop, test and pilot innovative technologies in the health sector

Winning technologies are expected to help fight the many challenges posed by the outbreak of the COVID-19 (coronavirus) global pandemic

Thomas Jefferson University and the Israel Innovation Authority have announced the four winning Israeli companies in a joint program to develop, test, and pilot impactful technologies, services and devices in the health sector that will help meet unmet medical needs, especially pressing as we face the dire challenge posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The four companies received a total of $1 million in funding from the Israel Innovation Authority and in-kind services that will help them leverage Jefferson’s unique co-development business model, along with the substantial scale of its clinical care footprint and clinical trials consortium. This program will expedite the development, testing and eventual commercialization of the respective company technologies.

The competition was announced last February as an effort to help four Israeli start-up companies to “move their ideas from conception to commercialization.”

Dr. Zvi Grunwald—director of the Jefferson Israel Center, professor and emeritus chair of anesthesiology at Jefferson’s Sidney Kimmel Medical College—said the competition built on the Jefferson/IIA relationship, which took a giant leap forward in June 2018 when the Jefferson Israel Center opened in Jerusalem as a vehicle for fostering global health care,  innovation, and education initiatives.

Dr. Mark L. Tykocinski—Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs at Thomas Jefferson University, and Dean of its Sidney Kimmel Medical College—notes that “Israel today is what Silicon Valley was in the late 1990s. It’s a remarkable ecosystem of innovation that has more technology start-ups per capita than anywhere in the world right now.”

“International partnering represents a key strategic anchor for our university as this century unfolds, and the opportunities are unbounded for leveraging global relationships to pioneer technologies in the healthcare and higher education spaces, and in so doing, to give life to our vision for ‘redefining humanly possible,’” says Tykocinski.

Thanks to these awards, the winning companies will be able to access Jefferson Health’s physicians and other staff across a range of clinical settings in the communities the health system serves, ranging from hospitals and outpatient and urgent-care sites, to rehabilitation facilities. These companies will also be well-positioned to draw upon the university’s strengths in fields such as industrial design, human factors engineering, digital health and materials science.

The winning companies include Agamon Technologies, ART MEDICAL, Seegnal and Somatix. They all feature technologies that help medical personnel analyze the massive data that is gathered throughout medical treatment, and through such analytics, gain real-time insights for optimizing personalized medical care to each patient.

Here’s what those involved in the competition, and the winning companies, have to say:

Dr. Ami Appelbaum, Chairman of the Israel Innovation Authority and Chief Scientist at the Israeli Ministry of Finance and Industry: “The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic has put the already overexerted medical system under more pressure of timely diagnosis, and the need to provide remote medical treatment to prevent further spread of the disease. The winning projects will allow the medical system in Israel, the USA and even globally to better sift through multitudes of medical data and provide care givers with a real time understanding of all pertinent medical information to allow them to provide the appropriate and personalized treatment for each patient either at home or at the medical facility.”

Dr. Zvi Grunwald: “It isexciting to observe the maturation of an idea from inception and humble start to an inspiring international collaboration in health sciences that may benefit our societies especially in a time they are seeking solutions and responding to a global pandemic.”

Michal Meiri, CEO of Agamon Health Ltd.: “We are thrilled to collaborate with Jefferson, one of the premier healthcare systems in the US, and to bring the value of our innovative technology to millions of their patients.”

Liron Elia, Founder & CEO of ART MEDICAL: “Our work with Jefferson Health was instrumental in helping us understand crucial and unmet needs of critical care patients and enabled us to optimize our product offering to address those needs. Our continued collaboration with Jefferson will allow us to create a Launchpad for successful product introduction in the U.S.”

Dr. Roni Shiloh, Founder & CEO of Seegnal: “We are delighted to join forces with the Israel Innovation Authority and Thomas Jefferson University. This project will harness the power of Pharmacogenetics to create a trailblazer module, enabling substantial optimization of patients’ medication therapy and fundamentally improving patient care and outcome.”

Eran Ofir, CEO of Somatix: “Somatix is proud to partner with Jefferson to create a new standard of remote patient monitoring and enable hospitals to extend the quality of care to the patient’s home. Our system can also keep patients safer at home, reducing unnecessary admissions and stress on the hospital system.”

Following the exceptional success of this collaboration between the Israel Innovation Authority and Jefferson, the Authority has decided to expand such collaboration, adding three additional leading medical centers, including the Mayo Clinic and Hartford Healthcare in the US, and the Charité – Universitätsmedizin in Berlin, Germany.

This new and expanded program and call for proposals will open the Israeli medical innovation ecosystem to top-tier facilities, know-how, infrastructure and expertise on a global scale, and provide to Israeli companies a unique launchpad for their technologies and services.

About the winning companies and projects:

Agamon Technologies LtdAI based analysis of medical reportThe overwhelming caseload on healthcare providers increases the prospect that test results may be overlooked or misread, possibly resulting in late diagnosis or unnecessary death. Now, as the need for COVID-19 care imposes an even greater strain, providers need tools that can objectively identify significant findings, alert physicians based on the severity of the results, and communicate complex medical language to patients in simple terms.In Pennsylvania, providers are legally required to communicate directly with patients if they find “significant abnormalities” in the patient’s test results in addition to informing the ordering physician. Using novel algorithms, Agamon has built advanced software AI that automaticallyassesses the significance of findings from unstructured medical texts, starting with radiology reports, so no important clinical insight ever falls through the cracks. The product analyzes the complex content within medical reports and notifies patients in a timely and accessible manner. This technology enables the entire care team to focus more on patient care, help patients fulfill clinical recommendations, and improve overall health outcomes.
ART MEDICALsmART+™️ – platform monitors and analyzes new data to help reduce complications due to hospitalization and enable faster recoveryART MEDICAL’s smART+™️ platform aims to prevent the most common life-threatening hospital-acquired complications that affect ICU patients, such as ventilator-associated events, pneumonia, malnutrition and Acute Kidney Injury (AKI) – all are risk factors for COVID-19 patients. With the introduction of Nutrition Management 2.0™️, the smART+™️ platform monitors and analyzes new data such as gastric reflux, metabolic rate, feeding efficiency, urine output parameters and feeding tube positioning. The system prevents gastric aspiration (risk for secondary infections in COVID-19 patients) and predicts AKI in real-time. With the introduction of this new technology, ART MEDICAL will help to reduce those risks and enable faster patient recovery.
SeegnalPatient-specific digital platform to mitigate Drug Related Problems at the point-of-careSeegnal is a disruptive, patient-specific digital platform to mitigate Drug Related Problems (DRPs; 4th leading cause of mortality in the USA) at the point-of-care. The joint project will focus on integrating Seegnal into clinicians’ workflow within the largest USA-based electronic medical record (EPIC), while developing the world’s first Pharmacogenetic Risk Indicator. Severe Pharmacogenetic-associated DRPs are estimated to occur in 10-15% of the population. The Indicator will be able to gauge the widest scope of relevant patient factors, such as genetic variabilities, ethnicity, medication, lab results, renal function and drug-data, to indicate cases in which the combination of specific medication and patient’s factors might induce severe DRPs.
Somatix®SafeBeing™ – AI-based, wearable-enabled, Remote Patient Monitoring system.Somatix® is the provider of SafeBeing™, which is an AI-based, wearable-enabled, Remote Patient Monitoring system. With its patented gesture detection technology, Somatix analyzes massive volumes of data in real-time to provide actionable clinical insights, such as risk factors for adverse events. The pilot program provides Jefferson remote monitoring of the most vulnerable patients who are at highest risk for readmission, including those suffering from sepsis, congestive heart failure, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Furthermore, Somatix’s technology can be used immediately during the COVID-19 crisis, using adaptive machine learning algorithms and a smartband, to monitor and trend isolated patients’ activity levels and detect signs of clinical deterioration.