Using Big Data to help personalize mental health treatment

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Mayanei Hayeshua’s Professor Rael Strous participated in the “Future of Healthcare” panel
at the Jerusalem Post Annual Conference in New York, September 2022

The medical director of Mayanei Hayeshua’s Mental Health Center, Professor Rael Strous, was a member of the “Future of Healthcare” onstage live panel at the Jerusalem Post Annual Conference in New York on 12 September, 2022. When asked by moderator Maayan Hoffman, Head of Conferences for the Jerusalem Post, about the challenges facing mental healthcare, Professor Strous said that two thirds of us will suffer from some sort of mental illness, but too few people who urgently need help, do not know how to ask for it. “As we make the transition from a coercive to a more humane and ethical approach, mental illness cannot continue to be the black sheep of healthcare. All societies are judged by how they look after their weakest members.”

Maayan Hoffman asked Professor Strous to describe how Mayanei Hayeshua is planning to use big data and AI (Artificial Intelligence) to predict and identify the onset and development of mental illnesses. He explained that as a paperless hospital, Mayanei Hayeshua uses a sophisticated data system and computational algorithms to evaluate anonymous patient data to help clinicians monitor the progression of mental illness. “The brain is an extremely complex organ, and the hospital uses digital navigators to manage, classify and treat mental patients. Wearable devices worn by patients with eating disorders have proved particularly effective in improving early intervention.”

Professor Strous summed up: “Our goal is a personalized approach to psychiatric prevention. We need a far more integrated approach between the mind and the body if society is to take full advantage of futuristic technologies.”

Joining Professor Strous on the “Future of Healthcare” panel were Dr. Shai Novik, executive chairman of Enlivex Therapeutics, who said that the world will soon “break the glass ceiling” in treating people with diseases that today seem incurable. Yoni Yagodovsky, Director of International Relations for Magen David Adom, noted that for healthcare in Israel to succeed, we need a strong team of doctors and nurses. This theme was reiterated by Rhoda Smolow, national president of Hadassah, The Women’s Zionist Organization of America, who said that the need for nurse educators meant that hospitals had to create paths for nurses to get PhDs.

Mayanei Hayeshua was the only Israeli hospital represented directly at the New York conference.

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