From Israel with love: 10 innovations for a better life
While some are busy calling for boycotts on Israel, here’s what Israeli researchers and innovators have been up to recently. The latest roundup of Israeli innovations making our life better, healthier and longer. You are welcome, world!
The Jewish ancient preoccupation with foreskin is now yielding benefits for the entire world. Israeli company Medtech came up with a device that has the potential to save millions of lives, especially in endangered countries in Africa, as circumcision reduces the risk of contracting HIV through heterosexual intercourse by 60%. The Prepex ring involves no surgery, no hospitals, no incisions, no blood and can be operated in a matter of minutes by a trained nurse. The ring interrupts blood circulation to the foreskin, which dries and falls off in a couple of days, after which the ring is removed. Yes, it’s really that simple.
The future is now. It may sound like an invention out of a sci-fi novel, but it’s real: this robotic exoskeleton enables people with spinal cord injuries to walk again. Or in the cases of some, like Claire Lomas (pictured), to complete a marathon. Although the physical benefits are obvious, Rewalk, a system which has leg attachments powered by a battery and controlled by a wrist-mounted remote, also has tremendous influence on the mental health of users, as they regain independence and self-esteem.
Caring for wounds just got a lot smarter and safer with the emergency bandages or the „Israeli bandages”, as they were nicknamed by American soldiers in conflict areas. Due to the pressure bar, which keeps the wound compressed, the Israeli bandages are incredibly effective in stopping a hemorrhage. They are non-sticky so as not to reopen the wound when removed and they are elastic, so they can be wrapped in ways that fit the type of wound. Plus, they can be used with just one hand.
Physiotherapy can be a pain in the neck. Literally. Due to pain, slow rate of progress or mere boredom, patients with orthopedic injuries often don’t follow closely the arduous recovery process. Enter BioGaming. This system presents patients with personalized routines that they can do at home, in front of their computer or TV screen. Playing fun games that engage the muscles and areas specific to every case, the patient is more prone to complete the daily exercises and thus to improve faster. While BioGaming makes use of virtual reality, the results are very much felt in the real reality.
Over 7 million people in the world suffer from vision impairment that resulted from accidents or illnesses. To the rescue jumps yet again an Israeli company determined to offer people a couscous-sized solution, with enormous potential: the bionic retina. A tiny microchip is inserted in the actual retina, and connected to neurons there. By wearing a special pair of glasses, light is transformed into electric impulses that stimulate the neurons to send images to the brain. The procedure takes about half an hour and the recovery process is over in less than a week.
This new device for detecting breast cancer gives hope to millions of women around the world. The machine requires no contact, it’s radiation-free and more precise than other types of screening. It is especially accurate for young women with denser breast tissue. The system analyzes the infra-red signals coming from the malignant and benign tissue and then generates a conclusive report that doesn’t need to be interpreted by a physician. Good news, ladies!
Late identification is a major issue when it comes to fighting cancer and one disease in particular, lung cancer, is considered to be especially deadly, accounting for 27% of all cancer fatalities. This is partly because of very late identification. However, Na Nose catches the volatile compounds that are exhaled through breath and can differentiate not only between benign lesions and tumors, but also among cancer types. For so many people around the world, this grants a literal sigh of relief…
Those grueling knee pains that come at a certain age will soon be a thing of the past. Israeli researchers are now looking into implants that can regrow cartilage in the knee. Because the cartilage doesn’t have any blood vessels, it is nearly impossible for it to heal itself. The new regenerative solution from CartiHeal acts as a scaffold for natural tissue to grow on and it involves just a simple arthroscopic intervention. Get ready, soon enough you can jump all you want!
Yes, we are hearing a lot of kvetching, but the truth is, Jews have one of the highest life spans in the world. With the advantage of living long enough to see your grandchildren marry come the less-than-fortunate physical issues. Even otherwise healthy seniors sometimes experience sudden losses of balance, that result in falls — and it’s all downhill from there. Looking to nip the evil in the bud, researchers at B-Shoe technologies have developed a walking shoe that can detect when the wearer is about to fall and automatically moves one leg backward for stability. We’ll still find things to complain about, but artificial hips won’t be among them.
Education in the hospital
This last one is a social innovation, but in the medical field. Israel is the only country in the Middle East to provide continuous education for all children in Israel hospitalized for more than 3 days. Yes, this includes Arab children, Syrian refugees, Ethiopian immigrants — ALL children. Different methods in different languages, like online platforms for example, are put into place in order to adapt to their treatment particularities, as Israel is strongly committed to inclusivity and support for children from all backgrounds.