Nursing home considers Israeli health technology

The CEO of the Hebrew Home at Riverdale, a prominent New York nursing home, visited Israel last month in hopes of including local companies in a business venture he thinks will ultimately benefit Israel’s public image.

The Hebrew Home, which has been awarded special legislation by the state of New York to carry out a new cost-savings health-care project as part of the state’s Managed Long-Term Care, is hoping to make Israeli companies the focal point.

Dan Reingold, CEO of the Hebrew Home, met with leading technology companies and government officials in an attempt to utilize Israeli innovations for the project, whose goal is to make use of a state grant of $3,600 per month per resident to provide for health-care needs, which at present cost $8,000 a month.

“This is an opportunity not only to create or modify existing technology, but also to make sure that people in the U.S. know about the humanitarian side of Israel,” Reingold said.

“As Zionists,” he said, “we start with the humanitarian side; we took the mission to Haiti for granted because we knew Israel would be there. And the fact that we have a strong military is an unfortunate necessity. But the rest of the world starts from the opposite, the military, and maybe sees that Israel has a small humanitarian side as well.”

Reingold thinks this is his opportunity to change that image.

Among the ideas discussed at the meetings were a joint venture to develop and invest in young Israeli entrepreneurs working in research and development of tele-medical care, and a partnership with the Israeli government to conduct an international health-care conference.

Some of the technologies being focused on are monitoring devices that can check how much time a patient spends in bed and a tracking device for Alzheimer patients who tend to wander out on their own.

At present, Reingold estimates that 24-hour at-home care costs about $8,000 a month. But a “smart home,” equipped with technology that eliminates the need for at-home care, might cost $10,000 to install and then only minor fees to maintain.

Israel has advanced medical technology, Reingold said, way ahead of the United States. —