Demonstrating the future of healthcare

Demonstrating the future of healthcare

Israeli startup is the first huge new innovation campus in Jersey City

Scitech Scity, its developers say, will be “infused with science and scientific creativity.”
Scitech Scity, its developers say, will be “infused with science and scientific creativity.”

At the 2021 groundbreaking for the $450 million, 30-acre SciTech Scity near Liberty Science Center in Jersey City, Governor Phil Murphy predicted that the multifaceted campus would be “a business optimizer – a new breed of innovation center” that could “change the face of Jersey City and New Jersey through education, discovery, and commercialization.”

Israel’s Sheba Medical Center signed on as the first innovation partner and first international tenant in the project. Sheba’s ARC — Accelerate Redesign Collaborate — innovation center plans to set up a hospital simulation space on the top floor of the eight-story Edge Works business incubation hub at SciTech Scity called Liberty ARC HealthSpace 2030. (“Scity”  is pronounced “city.”)

The goal is for HealthSpace 2030 to provide Israeli and other startups with a venue where they can showcase cutting-edge technologies for the entire healthcare spectrum, from promoting healthy living to managing chronic diseases and enhancing healthcare delivery.

ARC Innovation plans to pilot technologies such as sensors, artificial intelligence solutions, communication platforms, and robotics home-health solutions inside residences in Scholars Village, the soon-to-be-built residential component of SciTech Scity.

This ambitious complex is in a low-income ward of Jersey City, which could benefit from locally implemented advances in digital and home healthcare. Its backers also anticipate that new companies emerging from the hub would create job opportunities for residents of SciTech Scity’s underserved neighborhood.

As construction on Edge Works and its affiliated Liberty Science Center High School is getting underway, West Orange-based RWJBarnabas Health — the largest academic health system in the state – recently agreed to be the project’s hospital innovation lead partner.

Michael Prilutsky, RWJBarnabas Health’s executive vice president and also president and CEO of Jersey City Medical Center, said the partnership “aligns seamlessly with RWJBarnabas Health’s mission to advance health equity and drive clinical innovation. By leveraging the resources and expertise of ARC Innovation, as well as future partners in the SciTech Scity hub, we will spearhead transformative healthcare solutions in our communities.”

The Israeli company called Aisap, which provides point-of-care assisted diagnosis, will be Scitech Scity.

RWJBarnabas Health will help design the simulation space – including patient rooms, surgical suite, intensive care units, clinics, and more – and will have access to the global ARC Innovation network of more than 100 startups, 35 care providers, and 20 industry partners.

Orli Biger, head of ARC Global and HealthSpace2030, explained that the project “brings together healthcare entities in the region, academic centers, medical device companies, pharmaceutical companies and startups to collectively create a space where key participants of the healthcare ecosystem will work together to determine what we need, how it needs to be delivered, and ultimately how to best create new solutions. RWJBarnabas Health will play a key role in accelerating digital health in New Jersey, and we believe this will serve as a model that can impact care delivery across the country.”

Ms. Biger said the HealthSpace 2030 innovation and simulation lab will occupy 30,600 square feet, with a 2,000-square-foot balcony overlooking the Statue of Liberty. The grand opening is expected in the autumn of 2025.

“We want to demonstrate the future of health, focusing on technology, design, and the human factor,” she said. “Imagine coming out of the elevator and seeing the operating room of the future, nothing like what you’d see in a hospital today. We will also have an intensive care unit and a homecare environment because we understand that more and more health services will be delivered at home where it’s most convenient for the patient.”

RWJBarnabas Health, whose service area covers eight counties housing five million residents, is among New Jersey’s largest private employers, with some 41,000 employees and about 9,000 physicians.

The system encompasses 17 hospitals, a network of outpatient pediatric rehabilitation centers, a behavioral health center, two trauma centers, a satellite emergency department, ambulatory care centers, geriatric centers, the state’s largest behavioral health network, comprehensive home care and hospice programs, fitness and wellness centers, retail pharmacy services, affiliated medical groups, multisite imaging centers, and two accountable care organizations.

“We will design this place together with other partners as well, so we are looking for medical centers to join us, plus academia, industry partners, and of course startups – Is-raeli startups, but not only,” Ms. Biger said.

Orli Biger

Healthcare startups in Israel and other countries see the United States as a primary market, she said, and HealthSpace 2030 can serve as a “soft landing pad” for them.

“We would like to provide all the conditions for them to come to the U.S. market and work with the local providers to understand the market – it’s much different from other places – and get access to local medical centers, a network to facilitate interactions, and a place where they can showcase their technologies, do clinical trials, and pilot their products.”

In parallel to building this international medical innovation hub, back at home. Sheba ARC also is building HealthSpace 2030 Israel, in collaboration with the Israeli Ministry of Health.

“Today we work with 100 startups at Sheba, half of them born at Sheba and most of them Israeli, but we are open to working with international companies,” Ms. Biger said. “We understand that to drive innovation today we have to collaborate.”

As a vehicle to advance innovation from Israel, HealthSpace 2030 is well located, she added.

“There are many benefits of having the center in New Jersey. It’s only seven hours’ difference from Israel, versus other places in the U.S., making it easier for Israeli companies who will move here to stay in touch with their R&D base in Israel,” Ms. Biger said.

Moreover, “many providers, academia, and industries in New Jersey are really invested in entrepreneurship. They say New Jersey has more scientists and engineers per square foot than anywhere else in the world, so we thought it’s a perfect place for us. We look forward to collaborating with clinicians, entrepreneurs, and engineers to create better technologies for the future of health.”