When six of the ten companies on Forbes’ “Top 10 Health Tech Changing the World” are Israeli, it’s fair to say that Israel is not only the Startup Nation, but the Health Tech Nation as well. Israeli technologies overwhelmed the list not only with the variety of life-saving applications, but their ingenious and innovative way of doing so as well. Here are six startups on the list:
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Over two years ago, we here at NoCamels posed the question, “Will Israeli Product ‘ReWalk’ Make Wheelchairs Obsolete?”, and now, with important advances in the robotic exoskeleton’s capabilities, we may finally have an answer. Created by seasoned Israeli entrepreneur and founder of ARGO Medical Technologies, Dr. Amit Goffer, who himself is paralyzed from the waist down, ReWalk was designed to help paraplegics and those with spinal cord injuries walk upright again. The ReWalk device is strapped on to the user’s legs and stimulates the movement of their pelvis and limbs. With the addition of crutch support, individuals who were previously confined to a wheelchair can now climb stairs and communicate eye-to-eye with those around them. ReWalk’s ability to restore upright mobility is revolutionizing the lives of wheelchair-bound, evidenced in Claire Lornas’s walk of the 2012 London Marathon in 17 days, a feat that she would have never been able to complete if it weren’t for Goffer’s incredible walking machine.
Bye, bye pregnancy books. Hello pregnancy apps! Like many of our precious moments in life, pregnancy too has gone high-tech, with numerous applications popping up to help budding mothers monitor their nine-month journey. According to “Forbes,” one app stands out from the rest and that is the Israeli-developed platform Totally Pregnant. The colorfully designed app available for iOS and Android allows moms to track the baby’s growth, their own health, receive expert advice based on their location and view 3D images of the fetus’ development. Users can share sonograms in photo albums, watch informative videos on things like pregnancy yoga and even shop for their little bun in the oven. The startup recently released an international version and is now available in the US and 64 other countries, helping the moms and dads of the world keep calm, cool and collected before expecting.
You’ve probably heard the modern-day adage that it’s best to avoid the internet when it comes to medical advice, but Israeli company Telesofia hopes to reverse the negative stigma with its platform. The startup allows doctors from all around the globe to provide personal, accurate and interactive medical instructions through intuitive patient education videos. For instance, if a patient receives a new medication from their doctor and is unsure how to take it, Telesofia’s videos illustrate and simply explain how the medication should be used and what side effects to take note of, data which is tailored to the specific needs of the user, according to the information that they input into the platform. Telesofia’s videos are available on every kind of internet-powered device and according to the company, can be used by anyone anywhere to get immediate advice in cases as extreme as a deadly seizure, a terrible allergic reaction or even heart attack. Most of all, it’s good to know that someone is finally taking responsibility for the medical information on the internet, and with informative videos.
Airforce pilots and surgeons may not seem to have too much in common at first glance, but according to Israeli airforce pilots Moty Avisar and Alon Geri, who founded Surgical Theater, pilots and surgeons often make use of the same skills. Avisar and Geri proved it with their breakthrough medical platform, which allows doctors to practice intricate surgery with the help of 3D images taken from the patient’s CT and MRI scans and is already already being used by neurosurgeons in the United States. In order to get to know the brain (or other potential organs) they are about to work on, the doctors can meander through the patients cortex using joysticks to practice the operation, not unlike pilots or even video game users. The Surgical Theater was presented at the 2012 Congress of Neurological Surgeons where it was named a “new technology to watch”, and it has since secured FDA approval and been implemented in major US hospitals like Mount Sinai, the Mayo Clinic and NYU and UCLA hospitals. Following the success of their Selman Surgical Rehearsal Platform (SRP) , Surgical Theater is now looking to develop technology that will allow surgeons to look past organs and other arteries in their way during surgery, minimizing the chances for a dangerous mishap.
Anyone who has diabetes or knows someone with the common insulin-resistant condition can tell you that it involves a lot of equipment and care. However, even if a diabetics takes impeccable care of themselves, that still does not always prevent disaster, which is why the Israeli-developed application HelpAround wants to keep as many people as possible in the loop. The mobile application allows diabetes patients of all walks of life to find someone in their vicinity with a glucose tablet, meter or dose of insulin to share. In addition, if a diabetic person suddenly goes into a diabetic coma or has a seizure, the emergency response of nearby nurses or people simply familiar with diabetes can be rendered with the touch of a smartphone button. HelpAround has something even for the diabetic who knows it all, with a unique crowd-run and anonymous platform for advice and support from those using the app nearby. Recently, the startup has begun to promote its service in another, and just as common medical problem – food allergies.
This may sound overly ominous, but soon enough your device will be watching you. One of the leaders of eye and facial-tracking technology, Israeli startup uMoove has developed a platform for gesture-recognition on mobile devices, allowing users to play games or companies to observe user interest all with the blink of an eye. While the company has already developed platforms enabling video games to react to facial expressions, as well as other commonly used mobile components, uMoove now hopes to apply its technology for important medical uses. According to a report in “Scientific American,” eye-tracking software, like uMoove’s, could be used to discover serious brain disorders, such as autism, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder and Parkinson’s disease, just to name a few. The eye and facial recognition technology can analyze an individual’s world view, which, as Moshe Eizenman, an eye-tracking researcher at the University of Toronto explains, “reflects a model of the world that exists inside the brain of each individual.” The interest in uMoove’s tracking technology spiked a good deal of investor interest, about $3 million worth to date.
Photos: Telesofia/ courtesy, HelpAround/ screenshot