By Michael Calhoun

ST. LOUIS (KMOX) — St. Louisans are back in Israel this week, hoping to forge new connections in the field of digital health this time.

It’s the 10th trip to Israel since 2014 for BioSTL, which incubates bio-science start-ups. President Donn Rubin cites an effort to plug St. Louis into the global economy. Rubin called KMOX News from Tel Aviv.

“We started with Israel about three and a half years ago because it is known as ‘start-up nation’ and is just a beehive of entrepreneurial activity and start-up activity and shares a lot of strengths with St. Louis,” Rubin says. “A lot of areas that we’re strong in, they’re strong in.”

Those sectors include health care, medicine, agriculture and plant science.

So why is digital health the theme of this trip?

Rubin explains: “The Israelis really are a leader in combining technology with healthcare to lower the cost and improve patient outcomes.”

BJC and Wash U, for instance, are trading tips with the largest hospital system in the middle east, called Sheba. And that knowledge exchange runs both ways, Rubin says, with the St. Louisans talking with approximately one hundred Israeli start-ups.

“They were able to learn, first of all, about what it takes to get into the U.S. market, how to understand health insurance and all of the intricacies of being an entrepreneur in healthcare in the United States,” he says, “but also learning about St. Louis and its strengths.”

Express Scripts and Centene are also cited.

Since the start of this ‘Global STL’ effort, five Israeli tech companies have put their U.S. headquarters in St. Louis and another seven are taking part in accelerator programs in the city.

working session israel Digital Health is Focus of St. Louis Expedition to Israel

A working session between St. Louis biotech representatives and Israeli start-ups. (provided)

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