Google’s Verily/Shaarei Zedek Medical Center Collaboration leads to new Israel Healthcare AI/R&D Center

Verily Life Sciences has announced that it is establishing an R&D center in Israel. The company focuses on using AI and technology to better understand health and prevent, detect, and manage diseases. Formerly a unit of Google called Google Life Sciences, Verily is currently an independent subsidiary of Google’s parent company, Alphabet.

The establishment of the new center comes after a successful collaboration between Google Health (a branch of Google creating a repository of health records and data) and Jerusalem’s Shaarei Zedek Medical Center, in the field of colonoscopy.

The center will advance early research conducted by Google Health and Shaarei Zedek Medical Center, overseen by Shaarei Zedek Scientific and the hospital’s Innovation Center, on the application of AI in the detection of colonic polyps, which was recently published in Gastrointestinal Endoscopy. The study complied with all requirements set by local regulators and the Ministry of Health.

In addition to a retrospective study involving nearly 1400 hours of colonoscopy video, the research team also ran a preliminary prospective validation study on 100 procedures where the AI system worked in real time helping the gastroenterologists . The objective of the study was to determine whether the application of AI could improve the detection of colonic polyps versus human evaluation alone. The system helped detect an average of one polyp per procedure that would otherwise been missed by those performing the procedure without missing any of the polyps detected by the gastroenterologists, and with less than four false positives per procedure.

Thus this new system has two principal advantages. The first is that the system improves detection performance by reducing the number of false negative detections of polyps particularly difficult to detect. The second advantage is the very low false positive rate.

“Through this collaboration, we have introduced a highly precise model using AI to identify and map colonic polyps in ways that will enhance diagnosis and treatment. This represents how close partnerships between clinical and technology leaders can have very significant and lasting benefits for the medical community,” said Prof. Eran Goldin, Director of the Digestive Diseases Institute at Shaarei Zedek Medical Center.

“AI has great potential impact in healthcare and biomedicine, and the research collaboration between Google Health and Shaarei Zedek Medical Center shows the promise of using AI for medical applications. We’re excited about Verily coming to Israel, advancing the research collaborations, and bringing together Verily’s approach to health care, data science, and technology with Israeli innovation and its advanced healthcare system,” said Yossi Matias, Vice President, Engineering & Research at Google and Head of Google’s Engineering Center in Israel.

The Verily Israel team will be co-located with Google in Haifa and Tel Aviv, Israel and will be led by Ehud Rivlin, Professor of Computer Science at the Technion, who worked with Google Health and recently joined Verily as Israel Site Lead.

About Verily

Launched in 2015, Verily is a subsidiary of Alphabet focused on life sciences and healthcare. Verily’s mission is to make the world’s health data useful so that people enjoy healthier lives. Verily develops tools and devices to collect, organize and activate health data, and creates interventions to prevent and manage disease. Verily partners with leading life sciences, medical device, and government organizations, using deep hardware, software, scientific, and healthcare expertise to enable faster development, meaningful advances, and deployment at scale. For more information, please visit verily.com

Six months ago Verily raised $700 million to begin commercialization of some of its developments. The financing round was led by Alphabet in participation with other funds.

Media Contact:   Robin Suchan, Communications and Public Affairs, Verilysuchan AT verily.com

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