By: Eyal Gura, CEO.
You’re probably wondering why we’re presenting you with a Hanukkah picture two months after the holiday ended, and why the image itself contains only three lit candles alongside a bowl of ice cream.
Secrets are certainly hard to keep, but back on the third day of Hanukkah, the Zebra-Med team had received three official letters from the Israeli Innovation Authority declaring that we were granted three major grants to deploy our AI technology in local hospitals and HMOs!
These three grants are known in industry ‘jargon’ as a “triple impact” – in the sense that all three parties affected by this wonderful piece of news are winners:
→ Patients: As 90% of the population in Israel is treated by these three large providers, many patients’ lives will be impacted in a scalable way.
- Emergency room patients will have their cases prioritized by AI, and if a CT scan includes a brain bleed or if a chest x-ray contains an acute condition such as pneumothorax, the patient’s imaging scan will be prioritized and placed at the top of the radiologist’s list for review, leading to earlier initiation of treatment.
- Women who are undergoing their annual mammography check up will enjoy a more effective diagnostic flow where both expert radiologists and AI algorithms review the scans. In the case where these should conflict, a third radiologist will review it as well. Once this process is validated, we hope to see fewer women sent for unnecessary biopsies and an increase in breast cancer cases detected earlier on. Traditional Computer Assisted Diagnosis (CAD) technologies failed in the past by exposing too many false positives and we are hopeful that AI can bring new insight to the process of the ‘second-reading’ of scans.
- Patients in the community, even in rural areas that are served by the same HMO, will benefit from the fact that their HMO will have an alert system so that their personal GP can notify them if they are at risk of osteoporosis or future cardiac events.
→ Caregivers: As there are many constraints on clinician’s time and focus, there is a growing concern regarding the decrease in quality or the increase of clinician burnout. Our HMOs and hospitals will now benefit from:
- Emergency room clinicians and radiologists’ ability to prioritize acute conditions, initiate earlier treatment protocols, and thus increase the likely success rate of the treatments.
- The potential reduction in malpractice costs due to undetected cancers.
- The ability of the GP in the community to better serve their patients and enroll them into preventative treatment programmes to avoid or postpone cardiac events or osteoporosis.
→ The State: Healthcare budgets are in an ongoing stretch due to the aging population (this population represents the majority of users’ imaging scans) and costly new treatments. Every osteoporosis fracture indicates not just the story of a patient, but the tremendous productivity costs on the family side (loss of working days, reduced independence, etc.), as well as considerable social welfare payments. Every patient with an undetected acute condition such as brain bleed, pneumothorax, or other undetected conditions such as breast cancer, ends up (in the best case scenario) with more days hospitalized, requiring more expensive treatments, with more working days lost and a greater lack of productivity for his or her surrounding family and direct contacts.
The Zebra-Med team is extremely humbled by the opportunity granted to all of us by the Israeli Innovation Authority and our collaborators, to impact the health and lives of so many people around us at such a large scale. We will put our hearts and minds into ensuring that the country gains the utmost from these grants and will report back next year regarding our successful deployments.
Back to work! Stay tuned…
-You still wonder why the Ice Cream in the picture – In Hebrew we have a saying , similar to “Third time’s a charm” , saying “Paam Shlishit Glida” – meaning – “Third time, Ice Cream ” 🙂