Israel Brain Technologies’ (IBT) meetup on the topic of Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) provided a platform for professionals from academia, clinic and industry to engage in fruitful discussion. The next meetup, on epilepsy, is coming up in Jerusalem on September 8th. Interview with Dr. Michal Balberg.
IBT’s mission is to push forward breakthroughs in brain technology. The organization does this by providing platforms for people involved in different aspects of the field to meet, discuss, and generate fruitful cooperation. The meetup events, which take place every couple of months, are one of the ways IBT provides platforms for the different players in the braintech arena to share ideas and network.
“The TBI Meetup was characterized by a very dynamic discussion, which peppered the presentations,” says Dr. Michal Balberg, a visiting scholar at Tel Aviv University, and project manager at Medial Research Ltd., focused on epilepsy seizure prediction. Dr. Balberg is also a seasoned entrepreneur in the medical devices arena, having founded Ornim Medical.
Dr. Balberg is currently planning the upcoming Meetup to take place September 8th in Jerusalem, in cooperation with the Jerusalem Business Networking Forum (JBNF). Speakers include Dr. Dana Ekstein, head of the Epilepsy Center at Hadassah Medical Center, Avi Yaron, Chairman of Biolert who will participate in the panel discussion, and others.
IBT’s approach – attacking challenges by bringing together people from different disciplines – medical, research, industry and investment, was evident at both the TBI Meetup and is the approach for the epilepsy event. “The speakers at the TBI Meetup did a good job engaging the audience, and the different perspectives complemented each other,” adds Dr. Balberg.
The “Meetup” events are instrumental in bringing to the forefront the particular challenges involved in different arenas,” explains Miri Polachek, Executive Director at IBT. “For example, most of us know what our health baseline is in different areas –blood pressure, cholesterol etc. But we don’t know what our normal brain function looks like and it’s unique to every individual. So when someone experiences Traumatic Brain Injury doctors can’t compare their brain scans to what that individual’s brain looks like pre-injury.” One of the matters discussed at the TBI meetup was creating a brain scan database of people, so that if someone experiences TBI the medical team will have a much better picture of the situation.
“Epilepsy should receive more focus from industry then it does now,” says Dr. Balberg. “I hope the upcoming meetup will be the starting point that will lead to cooperation and ultimately implementation of new approaches to managing and treating epilepsy.”