Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust has signed a formal agreement to partner with a new initiative which aims to establish institutional links between the UK and Israel.

The newly-launched Leeds-Israel Innovation Healthtech Gateway is the first scheme of its kind in the UK which sets out to boost collaboration and support high growth Israeli firms to expand into the UK.

The initiative will also feed into the UK-Israeli Tech Gateway programme and build on the foundations of a relationship between the two countries built on technology and innovation.

Dame Linda Pollard, chair of Leeds Teaching Hospitals, said: “The trust is delighted to be a part of the Leeds-Israel Innovation Healthtech Gateway. This is a fantastic initiative which will enable us to strengthen our links with Israel and the health sector businesses which are at the leading edge of innovation in healthcare technology.”

It has the potential to add value to both economies and bolster jobs, as well as further health tech innovation.

Dr Ai Lyn Tan, director of research and innovation at Leeds Teaching Hospitals, said: “We are delighted to be a signatory to the Leeds-Israel Innovation Healthtech Gateway. It is a perfect example of the partnerships we are developing in Leeds to transform health and social care and drive economic growth.”

One of the pioneering companies involved in the development of the Innovation Gateway is Israeli-based IMedis. The healthtech company is currently working in collaboration with Leeds Teaching Hospitals to help scale up the world’s first AI-powered quality assurance system for radiology scans.

The system aims to improve radiology performance, minimise any legal risks to providers and ultimately deliver better outcomes for patients. It works by automatically analysing every image and accompanying report to uncover any failure points.

Aviel Blumenfeld, chief executive and co-founder at IMedis, said: “We joined Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust to gain a foothold for IMedis in the UK because it provides an established framework for the development, adoption and spread of innovation within the NHS.”

He continued: “The Leeds healthcare environment is very supportive of people who are creating practical innovations to save lives, help staff and improve patient care. We are very excited to be working with this forward-looking hospitals trust.”

This year has already seen Leeds Teaching Hospitals roll out a new AI tool to analyse the quality of mammograms and deploy a new patient portal from Wellola.