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Here are the next big steps for Israel-U.S. digital health collaboration

Here are the next big steps for Israel-U.S. digital health collaboration

by STEPHANIE BAUM - 2015, 14

Luminox has big plans for Israeli digital health startups and its partner Johns Hopkins is just one part of it.

Dr. Yossi Bahagon, the CEO of the digital health hub, said he is in talks to add more strategic partners across pharma, retail, tech and wellness. It will also have a $30 million to $50 million fund backed by private and corporate investors to back early stage companies — he expects the first close before year’s end.

In a phone interview, Bahagon said the accelerator will essentially straddle the U.S. and Israel. It will not only support the startups it currently works with such as Medisafe, Tyto and Myndlift, but will also help create new ones according to the needs identified by strategic partners. He said the fund would invest in roughly 10 to 15 digital health businesses.

A key part of the new group’s plan will involve clinical validation for the digital health tools to get beyond the hype and ensure the early stage companies not only have innovative products but also add value.

“The companies that build their evidence today will be the stars of tomorrow,” Bahagon said. “I don’t see reimbursement happening on a large-scale without evidence.”

Bahagon sees the function of the digital health hub as an active participant in the companies in its portfolio, not just as a mentor or adviser. He is also a co-founder of Sweetch — a digital health company targeting diabetes. On top of his work at Luminox, Bahagon also likes to keep active as a family physician.

“I see it as a crucial element in my ability to filter startups and really understand their innovation,” he said. “In the meeting between a physician and patient, there are magical moments and you must have this insight to see what value startups bring.”

Read the full article in MedCity News

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