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AI Innovation at Shaare Zedek

12 November 2019

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While the Australian Friends of Shaare Zedek Inc. were busy raising funds in support of the hospital throughout their Annual Giving Day on 15th September, Shaare Zedek Medical Centre Jerusalem was hosting an innovative meetup in collaboration with JerusaML, an organisation which brings together experts from both industry and academy in the fields of Data Science, Machine Learning and Deep Learning.


The meetup, hosted by Shaare Zedek, featured talks by two of the leading researchers in the field, Dr. Elad Yom-Tov, a Senior Principal Researcher at Microsoft Research and a visiting Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Industrial Engineering and Management at the Technion, and Mr. Yuval Globerson, Director of Research and Development at BrainQ.


Dr Elad Yom Tov’s lecture was entitled “How can Internet data inform and improve medicine?”
He focused on the fact that many people turn to the Internet when they have a medical concern. The data people generate when searching for information, as well as during other activities, creates new ways to learn about and influence human health.


This is especially true when you consider that the questions you ask Dr Google are a more sensitive indicator than that attainable from traditional sources, when the required data is prone to reporting or association bias, or when most activity happens online.

Dr Yom-Tov presented some of the opportunities that Internet data offer medical research through three examples. He showed how search engine queries can be used to screen for serious diseases and discussed the algorithmic challenges posed by such analysis, which is based on anonymized data.


He also demonstrated how the anxiety of users can be assessed and what this tells us about people seeking information on suicide.


Dr Yom Tov presented his work which assessed the benefits of childhood flu vaccines, a policy which has now been adopted in Israel.


Mr Yuval Globerson then spoke about using machine learning to cure brain disorders. His company has developed a therapeutic medical device for neurological disorders like stroke, where the treatment parameters are chosen using the patient’s brainwaves and Machine Learning tools.


This innovative meetup was held in collaboration with Shaare Zedek Scientific which is responsible for research and development collaborations between Shaare Zedek and the industry, including implementing new technologies in the field of digital health and providing access to medical data through Shaare Zedek’s Innovation Center.


Chairman of the Australian Friends of Shaare Zedek Inc, Dr Allan Garfield says, “The JerusaML meetup is yet another example of the innovative and world leading approach that Shaare Zedek represents.


“We are proud to support of Shaare Zedek’s innovative and crucial work in the centre of Jerusalem. We work to bring the best of medical discovery emerging from Jerusalem to our local community and to continue to contribute in significant ways to the prevention and treatment of disease both in Israel and around the worl