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עמוד בית
Wed, 12.06.24

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February 2024
Nadav Loebl MSc, Eytan Wirtheim MD, Leor Perl MD

Background: The field of artificial intelligence (AI) is poised to significantly influence the future of medicine. With the accumulation of vast databases and recent advancements in computer science methods, AI's capabilities have been demonstrated in numerous areas, from diagnosis and morbidity prediction to patient treatment. Establishing an AI research and development unit within a medical center offers multiple advantages, particularly in fostering research and tapping into the immediate potential of AI at the patient's bedside.

Objectives: To outline the steps taken to establish a center for AI and big data within an innovation center at a tertiary hospital in Israel.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective analysis of projects developed in the field of AI at the Artificial Intelligence Center at the Rabin Medical Center, examining trends, clinical domains, and the predominant sectors over a specific period.

Results: Between 2019 and 2023, data from 49 AI projects were gathered. A substantial and consistent growth in the number of projects was observed. Following the inauguration of the Artificial Intelligence Center we observed an increase of over 150% in the volume of activity. Dominant sectors included cardiology, gastroenterology, and anesthesia. Most projects (79.6%) were spearheaded by physicians, with the remainder by other hospital sectors. Approximately 59.2% of the projects were applied research. The remainder were research-based or a mix of both.

Conclusions: Developing technological projects based on in-hospital medical data, in collaboration with clinicians, is promising. We anticipate the establishment of more centers dedicated to medical innovation, particularly involving AI.

Idit Tessler MD PhD MPH, Amit Wolfovitz MD, Nir Livneh MD, Nir A. Gecel MD, Vera Sorin MD, Yiftach Barash MD, Eli Konen MD, Eyal Klang MD

Background: Advancements in artificial intelligence (AI) and natural language processing (NLP) have led to the development of language models such as ChatGPT. These models have the potential to transform healthcare and medical research. However, understanding their applications and limitations is essential.

Objectives: To present a view of ChatGPT research and to critically assess ChatGPT's role in medical writing and clinical environments.

Methods: We performed a literature review via the PubMed search engine from 20 November 2022, to 23 April 2023. The search terms included ChatGPT, OpenAI, and large language models. We included studies that focused on ChatGPT, explored its use or implications in medicine, and were original research articles. The selected studies were analyzed considering study design, NLP tasks, main findings, and limitations.

Results: Our study included 27 articles that examined ChatGPT's performance in various tasks and medical fields. These studies covered knowledge assessment, writing, and analysis tasks. While ChatGPT was found to be useful in tasks such as generating research ideas, aiding clinical reasoning, and streamlining workflows, limitations were also identified. These limitations included inaccuracies, inconsistencies, fictitious information, and limited knowledge, highlighting the need for further improvements.

Conclusions: The review underscores ChatGPT's potential in various medical applications. Yet, it also points to limitations that require careful human oversight and responsible use to improve patient care, education, and decision-making.

December 2023
Gabriel Levin MD, Raanan Meyer MD, Yoav Brezinov MD

Background: The Gaza–Israeli conflict poses challenges for unbiased reporting due to its complexity and media bias. We explored recent scientific publications to understand scholarly discourse and potential biases surrounding this longstanding geopolitical issue.

Objectives: To conduct a descriptive bibliometric analysis of PubMed articles regarding the recent Gaza–Israeli conflict.

Methods: We reviewed 1628 publications using keywords and medical subject headings (MeSH) terms related to Gaza, Hamas, and Israel. We focused on articles written in English. A team of researchers assessed inclusion criteria, resolving disagreements through a third researcher.

Results: Among 37 publications, Lancet, BMJ, and Nature were prominent journals. Authors from 12 countries contributed, with variety of publication types (46% correspondence, 32% news). Pro-Gaza perspectives dominated (43.2%), surpassing pro-Israel (21.6%) and neutral (35.1%) viewpoints. Pro-Gaza articles exhibited higher Altmetric scores, indicating increased social media impact. Pro-Israel publications were predominantly authored by Israelis.

Conclusions: The prevalence of pro-Gaza perspectives underscores challenges in maintaining impartiality. Higher social media impact for pro-Gaza publications emphasizes the need for nuanced examination. Addressing bias is crucial for a comprehensive understanding of this complex conflict and promoting balanced reporting.

November 2022
Howard Amital MD MHA and Avishay Elis MD

Internal medicine is no doubt one of the main pillars of modern medicine. For years it has been considered to be the basis and foundation of medical education and proper clinical service. During the recent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, internal medicine departments were recognized worldwide, and clearly in Israel, to be the true Corona Warriors that provided medical care to patients as well as support and comfort to families. Around the globe, the public applauded and appreciated the bravery of our medical staff, who without hesitation and under direct personal danger provided the best medical care possible despite the hardships of the time. The high personal price and even the heavy cost of staff member lives lost in offering medical care to the pubic did not stop our quest for ongoing medical research.

Moriah Bergwerk MBBS, Nir Lasman MD, Limor Helpman MD, Barak Rosenzweig MD, Dor Cohen MD, Edward Itelman MD, Raz Gross MD, Gad Segal MD

Worldwide, students of healthcare professions attend clinical rotations at medical facilities. Much research, and consequently scientific publications, is produced during their studies, bearing the fruits of student–faculty collaboration. To the best of our knowledge, no previous contract has been proposed detailing the fine print to pre-determine mutual responsibilities and privileges of students and faculty. Our objective was to present such a contract to the relevant students and faculty. We conducted a literature review to study existing proposals and solutions for this dilemma. Appropriate guidelines were also scanned. We included a proposal for a standard contract as the basis for student–faculty agreement for conducting research and publishing collaborative work. Questions regarding the relative contribution of students and subsequent authorship often arise. Vague rules and absent regulations in this realm can, at times, can be disadvantageous to students. We foresee a future role for our proposed agreement.

September 2022
Avi Benov MD MHA, Shaul Gelikas MD MBA, Noam Fink MD, and Elon Glassberg MD MHA MBA

War is as old as history. Some may say it is older. The first Biblical war, dated 1880–1875 BCE, is depicted in the book of Genesis between nine kings in the vicinity of the Jordan river near Jericho. By the end of the war, Abraham (Abram) gets involved in saving his nephew Lot.

In addition to war, military medicine also has its roots in historical times. Hippocrates (460–377 BCE), the father of medicine, derived his medical knowledge from the battlefield, and Sushruta [1], the father of plastic surgery, mentioned the physician's preventive role in noting environmental hazards: "A common practice of the enemy is to poison the wells on the roadside, the articles of food, the shades of trees, and the fuel and forage for cattle; hence, it is incumbent on a physician marching with the troops to inspect, examine, and purify these before using any of them, in case they are poisoned."

The Greeks stated new ideas of military health, pointing to fitness promotion, gymnastics, and healthy diets to prevent illness. Over the centuries, from Alexander the Great to Napoleon’s army and wars in the 20th century, military conflicts have led to the death of hundreds of millions of people from trauma and war-related disease. Amazingly analyses of the 18th and 19th centuries have shown that 80% of the soldiers died from disease, and historians and military personnel agree that during armed conflicts in known history, only a minority of soldiers perished by the sword.

In Israel, the Israel Defense Forces-Medical Corps (IDF-MC) holds a unique position embedded in military and civilian national medicine. All medical personnel (e.g., physicians, nurses, technicians, veterinarians) who work in the IDF-MC receive their diplomas from civilian universities, train in civilian hospitals, and continue to practice in the national health system. The majority of these professionals continue to work in different civilian medical platforms in Israel after finishing their mandatory service. The IDF-MC's primary mission is to provide optimal medical care to IDF soldiers at all times (including wartime), to prevent disease and promote health, advance military medicine, and aid the civilian sector as ordered by the Government of Israel.

In this special issue of Israel Medical Association Journal (IMAJ) is to expose readers to the continuous efforts of the IDF-MC to fulfill its mission by promoting research in multiple medical fields, including trauma, ambulatory care, health administration. In addition, in this issue of IMAJ, authors discuss the unique collaboration with the civilian system during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.

Trauma and trauma-related injuries are the main focus of military medical research. Ben-Avi and colleagues [2] described outcomes of emergent exploratory thoracotomies on military casualties and addresses parameters that may impact the survival of these casualties. Minervini [3] further discussed the issue. Bez et al. [4] researched the impact of isolated versus non-isolated traumatic brain injuries on injury identification and decision-making by care providers in austere scenarios. Tsur and co-authors [5] described the characteristics of a unique type of terror attack: vehicle ramming.

Additional examples of treatments provided in the military prehospital arena were analyzed by Nakar and colleagues [6] who discussed how to assess pain medications administered to trauma casualties in the past two decades by IDF-MC care providers. Rittblat et al. [7] further described the use of freeze-dried plasma, a blood component used in the prehospital arena and administered via intraosseous vascular access.

The IDF-MC is a continuously changing organization emphasizing the adoption of advanced technologies and devices. Chen et al. [8] presented a blinded study on the use of point-of-care ultrasound and remote telementored ultrasound by inexperienced operators, and Sorkin et al. [9] described the BladeShield 101: a novel device for the battlefield designed to continuously measure vital signs and medical treatment provided and to transfer data through roles of care.

In this special issue of IMAJ, authors also discusse gender-related aspects at the core of medical treatment. Segal et al. [10] examined whether missed injuries were related to the medical provider's gender, while Gelikas et al. [11] assessed whether treatment with analgesia was associated with casualty gender in the military prehospital trauma setting

Over the past two and a half years, the COVID-19 pandemic has been a significant part of our lives. During these years, medical systems and teams throughout Israel and around the world struggled to adapt to this new disease and save lives fighting the pandemic. Geva et al. [12] and Shental et al. [13] discussed the impact of COVID-19 on the IDF medical system, lessons learned during the outbreak, and effects of different diseases during these times on medical treatment provided by the IDF to soldiers.

October 2021
Yishai Levy MD and David Levy

An arginine-rich apolipoprotein was discovered 50 years ago and became known as apolipoprotein E (ApoE) 10 years later. ApoE is associated with triglyceride-rich lipoproteins and mediates the clearance of these lipoproteins from the plasma. The ApoE-deficient hypercholesterolemic mice are an excellent platform for experimental atherosclerosis because they are similar to human pathology with regard to an atherogenic diet. ApoE is mainly produced in the liver and central nervous system cells. Three alleles determine six ApoE phenotypes with different metabolic effects and plasma cholesterol levels. Type III dysbetalipoproteinemia is associated with wide-spread atherogenesis with a defective ApoE2 resulting in delayed clearance of triglyceride-rich lipoproteins. ApoE4 substantially increases the risk including age of onset, progression, and prognosis of Alzheimer’s disease. Therefore, much effort has been directed to the elucidation of the pathogenic role of ApoE related to amyloid β (Aβ) acquisition in the brain. The ApoE trail passing from an enigmatic protein to a major player in cardiovascular and neurodegenerative disorders is reviewed

March 2021
George M. Weisz MD FRACS BA MA and Andrew Gal BSc (Med) MBBS FRCPA

Germany was a scientifically advanced country in the 19th and early 20th centuries, particularly in medicine, with a major interest in research and the treatment of tuberculosis. From 1933 until 1945, Nazi Germany perverted scientific research through criminal experimentations on captured prisoners of war and on "subhumans" by scientifically untrained, but politically driven, staff. This article exposes a series of failed experiments on tuberculosis in adults, experiments without scientific validity. Nonetheless, Dr. Kurt Heißmeyer repeated the experiment on Jewish children, who were murdered for the sake of personal academic ambition. It is now 75 years since liberation and the murdered children must be remembered. This observational review raises questions of medical and ethical values

December 2016
Peter Gilbey MD, Mary C.J. Rudolf MD, Sivan Spitzer-Shohat MA and Anthony Luder MD

The unique characteristics of the next generation of medical professionals in Israel and the current model of physician employment in the country may pose a real threat to the high quality of both public clinical care and medical education in the near future, and to the continued flourishing of clinical research. According to the Israel Medical Association’s general obligations for Israeli physicians, the doctor should place the patient's interests foremost in his or her mind, before any other issue. This has led many to believe that selflessness or altruism should be among a physician’s core values. Is the application and realization of these obligations compatible with the realities of 21st century medicine? Is altruism still a legitimate part of the modern medical world? The Y generation, those born in the 1980s and 1990s, now comprise the majority of the population of residents and young specialists. They have been characterized as ambitious, self-focused, entrepreneurial, lacking loyalty to their employer, and seeking immediate gratification. Under these circumstances, is it possible to encourage or even teach altruism in medical school? Demands on physicians' time are increasing. The shortage of doctors, the growth of the population, the way in which health care is consumed, and the increasing administrative burden have all gnawed away at the time available for individual patient care. This time needs to be protected. The altruism of physicians could become the guarantee of first-rate care in the public sector. The continued existence of clinical research and high level clinical teaching also depends on the allocation of protected time. In light of the emerging generation gap and the expected dominance of Y generation physicians in the medical workforce in the near future, for whom altruism may not be such an obvious value, solutions to these predicaments are discussed.

November 2014
Ori Lev PhD and Bracha Rager-Zisman PhD

Emerging and re-emerging infections cause huge concern among public health workers and international and national bodies such as the World Health Organization (WHO) and the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH). Indeed, scientists around the world express the view that despite the danger, research on these emerging virulent pathogens is crucial and must continue. While most of the studies underway are targeted at improving and protecting public health, some studies bear potentially serious risks resulting from misuse. These studies are defined as dual-use research (DUR) of concern, where it is not evident that the benefits outweigh the risks. The H5N1 controversy has pushed various governments to institute new policies to govern such research. We describe the regulations that govern this emerging field of research in the United States and Israel, two countries that have taken leading stands on these issues. We suggest that the existing policies are able to mitigate many of the risks that this research encapsulates, yet more work is required – especially on the global level.

August 2014
Reuben Baumal MD, Jochanan Benbassat MD and Julie A.D. Van
"Clinician-scientists" is an all-inclusive term for board-certified specialists who engage in patient care and laboratory-based (biomedical) research, patient-based (clinical) research, or population-based (epidemiological) research. In recent years, the number of medical graduates who choose to combine patient care and research has declined, generating concerns about the future of medical research. This paper reviews: a) the various current categories of clinician-scientists, b) the reasons proposed for the declining number of medical graduates who opt for a career as clinician-scientists, c) the various interventions aimed at reversing this trend, and d) the projections for the future role of clinician-scientists. Efforts to encourage students to combine patient care and research include providing financial and institutional support, and reducing the duration of the training of clinician-scientists. However, recent advances in clinical and biomedical knowledge have increased the difficulties in maintaining the dual role of care-providers and scientists. It was therefore suggested that rather than expecting clinician-scientists to compete with full-time clinicians in providing patient care, and with full-time investigators in performing research, clinician-scientists will increasingly assume the role of leading/coordinating interdisciplinary teams. Such teams would focus either on patient-based research or on the clinical, biomedical and epidemiological aspects of specific clinical disorders, such as hypertension and diabetes.
October 2013
August 2012
M. Linder, L. Lev Ari, R. Kurs and Y. Melamed

Background: Patient protection requires the provision of informed consent for participation in medical research. The MacArthur Competence Assessment Tool for Clinical Research (MacCAT-CR) is frequently used for screening the capacity of research subjects to consent to participate in research.

Objectives: To evaluate the utility of the Hebrew translation of the MacCAT-CR for the assessment of capacity of patients with chronic schizophrenia to provide informed consent to participate in clinical trials.

Methods: We evaluated the translated MacCAT-CR by comparing the capacity of patients with chronic schizophrenia to provide informed consent to participate in clinical trials. The following standardized neurocognitive assessment tools were used: Addenbrooke’s Cognitive Examination (ACE) and Frontal Assessment Battery (FAB), as well as the attending doctor’s assessment.

Results: Twenty-one patients participated. Mean MacCAT-CR score was12 ¡À 10.57 (range 0¨C32), mean FAB score was 9.9 ¡À 4.77 (range 1¨C18), mean ACE was 59.14 ¡À 16.6 (range 27¨C86) and mean doctor’s assessment was 5.24 ¡À 1.18 (range 3¨C7).

Conclusions: The Hebrew-version of the MacCAT-CR helped identify patients with the capacity to provide informed consent for participation in research. Patients with FAB scores ¡Ý 12 tended to score higher on the Hebrew-version of the MacCAT-CR, thus confirming the utility of the Hebrew version of the MacCAT-CR. During the screening process for clinical trials it may be practical to administer the concise FAB questionnaire, and then administer the MacCAT-CR only to those who scored ¡Ý 12 on the FAB.

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