Inside Mayo's global technology initiative with VP Eric Harnisch

Looking to help boost a variety of medical startup businesses, Rochester, Minn.-based Mayo Clinic is targeting collaborations and investments in Israel as the country's health tech market is considered to be a leader in innovation in medical devices, biopharma and software. 

Israel is a health tech 'hot bed'

The healthcare startup sector in Israel is extremely strong, Eric Harnisch, vice president of partner programs at Mayo Clinic, told Becker's

Mayo Clinic became aware of the health tech market in Israel when it noticed a lot of the companies the health system engaged with were out of the country. 

"There's a real environment in Tel Aviv and the surrounding area," said Mr. Harnisch. "So when we look at the market, we knew we wanted a partnership with an Israeli institution because they have a strong relationship with startups and have lots of access to them as well." 

According to Silicon Valley Business Journals, there are more than 1,500 life science companies in Israel, and capital investment in these companies continues to grow.

Getting foreign startups U.S. market-approved

Mayo Clinic and Israel-based Sheba Medical Center will work together to help early stage startups navigate the U.S. and global healthcare market. The health systems are evaluating which startups in their innovation accelerator programs want to work globally so that they can help them navigate the regulatory landscape needed to get their technology validated in the U.S. 

"There's regulatory policy that each organization is very familiar with — in the U.S., we're familiar with the FDA process, and in Israel, they're familiar with their local policy. So we're looking to work with these companies to get them to understand the data that needs to be collected and the clinical studies that need to occur for their product to get approved by the FDA," said Mr. Harnisch. "So we're working to really help the companies understand the market conditions and the market requirements needed to test and sell their technology."

The pros of global cross-collaboration

This global cross-collaborative initiative helps collectively transform healthcare, improve patient outcomes and patient satisfaction, Mr. Harnisch said.

"It's in our best interest to work together. If these startups can truly impact patient care, then all we could want is for those organizations to get their technology to a place where it would be most beneficial," he said.

As healthcare organizations throughout the U.S. struggle with worker shortages, Mr. Harnisch sees an opportunity for this program to create technologies that can help automate and create more efficiencies using artificial intelligence and automation. 

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