MDClone is a paradox – they make medical big-data easily accessible (liberating data, as they call it), without breaking a single privacy regulation.
In my search for cool local companies to write about, I met with Dr. Hovav Dror, chief scientist at MDClone. He is also, a physicist, mathematician, statistician and a military veteran. Hovav, alongside founders Ziv Ofek & Boaz Gur-Lavie and CTO Luz Erez, is responsible for the development of the platform.
“MDClone set up to make real patients' medical data available, giving doctors and drug developers data about background diseases, biochemical measurements and demographic background and to cross check all of these with medical issues relevant to said companies. And all of that without revealing a single personal detail on any of the patients!” In other words, you’d be getting a data base of clones (hence the name), which have zero identifiers and yet every single medically-relevant correlation in the data-set remains intact.
So, first thing’s first, this is HUGE, how huge? HUGE! We’re talking industry changer huge.
“What would’ve taken you months to get, can be yours in minutes” says Hovav. He then continues to show me how it works. Within 2 minutes I had 900 entries of patients who underwent catheterization following a heart-attack and developed high immunoglobin two weeks after the procedure.
With 15,000,000$ investments and a team of 50 employees, MDClone already has clients, big clients. The major hospitals – Sheba, Rambam & Ichilov, and the HMOs – Clalit and Maccabi; as well as several big players in the American market. Moreover, Dr. Irit Hochberg, a researcher from Rambam has already published a fascinating article on diabetes, conducted on MDClone’s data set.
How did the idea come to be?
“It began when Ziv Ofek, CEO of MDClone and a serial entrepreneur was looking for his next big thing. He had a great idea in his field of expertise – eHealth, which is a relatively recent healthcare practice supported by electronic processes and communication. But despite being well connected, he couldn’t get the needed medical data. Ziv Ofek is not one to cave when things get hard, if he couldn’t get his hands on medical data, he was going to create it”.
So, what’s next for MDClone? “We’re looking at startups and researchers. Our technology can empower them to create new opportunities for technological development”.
Is the future of MDClone in Beer-Sheva?
“Yes, it is. Most of our employees are local and they truly care about the company. This kind of loyalty is hard to find anywhere else”.