12:29 GMT +317 July 2018
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    Digital Healthcare: Israel to Launch Big Data Containing Patient Information

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    The digital health records will aim to compare information on a patient’s health histories and highlight how medicines have helped the particular case.

    Israel is pushing to launch a project in which data about the state of health of its population will be available to private companies and researchers.

    Israel plans to invest almost one billion shekels ($287 million) in this huge data project, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Sunday.

    "This is a major asset and we want to make it accessible to researchers and developers in order to achieve two things: one is preventive medicine, and the second is personal medicine tailored to each individual," Netanyahu told his cabinet.

    Some specialists feel that the country’s big data project to gather data for healthcare has great potential, although there may be some confidentiality concerns amongst the patients.

    However, the government has assured the public that the information will be anonymous and will protect the patient’s privacy.

    Netanyahu also said that some world leaders and international firms have shown interest in the project and that the potential revenue for Israel could be in the billions of dollars.

    Nadav Davidovitch, head of the Public Health School at Ben Gurion University in southern Israel, in an interview with Reuters has voiced concern that private companies would profit by using a publicly-funded database but may continue to make some medication that will be too expensive for many patients.

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