See for Yourself

4 06 2013

home-mobilityOrCam was founded in 2010 with a clear mission – to use advanced computer vision to help the visually impaired and blind regain the functionalities that were lost.

For the past three years, the system was developed, tested and refined in Israel by a team of engineers, most of whom came from elite technological units of the IDF and academia.

OrCam harnesses the power of Artificial Vision to compensate for lost visual abilities. It is a sensor that sees what is in front of you, understands what information you seek and provides it to you through a bone-conduction earpiece.strip-product-closeup-2000x321

OrCam can read, recognize faces, identify objects, products and places, locate bus numbers and monitor traffic lights. It does all that with the most intuitive user interface you can imagine.

The device currently recognizes English-language text and beginning this week will be sold through the company’s Web site for $2,500, about the cost of a midrange hearing aid.

Israel’s Superbug Detective Kit

15 03 2012

A new technology developed by a 91-year-old scientist at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem  is putting Israel way out front in the worldwide fight against antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

Prof. Emeritus Nathan Citri

It’s a well-established fact that hospital-borne infections are a top killer in the United States and Europe. Use as much antibacterial hand gel as you like, but no one is totally immune from “superbugs” spawned by the overuse or misuse of antibiotics. People with compromised immune systems, newborns and the elderly are especially easy prey for these microbes.

Prof. Emeritus Nathan Citri’s medical kit targets the problem of identifying various bugs fast enough to save lives and stop an outbreak. Currently, patients can wait as long as five days to get an evidence-based treatment, time during which the infection can spread like wildfire. The kit has all the material necessary to test for the presence of superbugs in a urine or blood sample, and almost immediately provides crucial guidelines on how to treat the infection at hand.

What’s extremely novel about the diagnostic kit is that it also provides information on the type of antibiotic that might be useful against the infection, whether it’s in the lower respiratory tract, urinary tract, intestines or abdomen. Armed with information from this kit, doctors will be able to shave days off the decision-making process, and remove guesswork from the clinical setting.

The kits are made to produce a chemical reaction in the presence of beta-lactamases, an enzyme found in all multi-drug resistant bacteria. If the urine or blood contains a kind of bacteria known to destroy the antibiotics located on a certain part of the array, within minutes a warning color change will tell members of the medical team what they need to know.

Yissum’s (The university’s commercial arm) CEO Yaacov Michlin added: “Drug-resistant gut bacteria present the most alarming, imminent threat to our ability to control infectious diseases. In order to contain its spread, a case of multi-drug resistance should be promptly isolated and treated with the one or two last-resort drugs that may still work. This is an extremely important step in our fight against antibiotic resistance.”

For further reading please click  here

How Innovative is Your Dentist?

23 02 2012

Israeli company's LiteTouch laser system is becoming a fast favorite of dentists and their patients in the US, Asia and Europe

Going to the dentist is never a picnic, and dentists understand how their patients feel. That’s why they are constantly trying new technologies to make treatment less unpleasant.

Syneron Dental Lasers of Yokneam, Israel, has developed the new LiteTouch dental laser – an innovation that has played a pivotal role in transforming the way practitioners perform dental treatments today.

Just as the mobile phone freed the world from wires, so has the LiteTouch freed dentists from traditional tools as well as bulky optic fibers, making laser dentistry completely portable, says company president Ira Prigat,  “The LiteTouch system is cost-effective and a step up toward a completely high-tech clinic.” And for dentists who miss the comforting sound of the drill, the LiteTouch vibrates like a drill although fortunately for patients, it doesn’t hurt like a drill since it’s laser-based.

According to numerous studies, the product has proven superior clinical results, with less pain and faster healing. Consequently, patient retention and growth rates are significantly better for dental practices that use LiteTouch, Prigat says.

Last September, Syneron Dental was named one of the 10 fastest-growing companies in Israel in Deloitte’s Technology Fast 50, which lists firms by revenue growth percentage over five years. Prigat expects that growth to continue.

“LiteTouch is finally fulfilling the promise that the industry gave to dentists,” he says, “that a laser can change their dental life.”

For further reading please click  here and here

Non-Invasive Tool Identifies Alzheimer’s, Depression and ADHD

25 01 2012

ElMindA aims to revolutionize treatment of a number of brain disorders by opening a new window in to the way the brain works

One out of every three people suffer from a brain-related disorder such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, ADHD, chronic pain or depression. But because the human brain and the conditions that affect it are so complex, blood tests and imaging are of limited value for diagnosing brain diseases and documenting the effects of treatment.

Even in the 21st century, there’s a lot of guesswork involved, and that means low treatment success rates at high costs.

The Israeli company ElMindA could revolutionize the field by opening a new window into how the brain works. Its trademarked, non-invasive BNA (brain network activation) technology has shown promise in clinical studies.

“Our vision is that every psychiatrist and neurologist in the world will routinely send every patient for BNA tests,” says Dr. Eli Zangvil, ElMindA’s strategic advisor for business development. “Our test would add information and aid in diagnostics in a way no other existing technology can do.”

The procedure is simple and painless. Patients sit at a computer for 15 to 30 minutes, performing a specific task many times while the device maps network activation points in the brain. The repetition allows the device to sift out brain activity unrelated to the task (such as thinking about what to eat for lunch). The result is a three-dimensional image of nerve cell connectivity and synchronization that is highly sensitive, specific and reproducible.

The tool is sensitive enough to show subtle differences in the severity of the condition from one day to another, says Zangvil. It can also optimize drug dosing by monitoring the changes in brain network activities as the drug takes effect.

In much the same way, clinical trials are proving the tool’s value for objectively diagnosing attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, which affects up to one in 20 US children.

Diagnosis today is based on a subjective behavioral and clinical evaluation, with a high rate of misdiagnosis and unnecessary drug treatment. BNA mapping would simplify diagnosis by comparing the patient’s scan to a normal and an ADHD profile. It would also play a role in treatment decisions and monitoring.

The company, under CEO Ronen Gadot, has about 18 employees at its Herzliya office and is backed by a world-class scientific advisory board.

For further reading please click here

Did You Know?…

12 01 2012


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As a country, Israel is defined by its collective successes and what follows is but a small sampling of that:

• Ten Israelis have won the Nobel Prize so far.

• Israel is a leader in quality of life. In a comparison conducted by the UN regarding quality of life in 182 countries, Israel ranked 27th, only slightly lower than the UK.

• Israel’s healthcare system is one of the most advanced in the world.

• Israel is a leader in biotechnology development.

• Israeli medical developments are used in the best operating rooms across the world.

• Israeli cows produce the largest amount and highest quality of milk in the world.

• Israel is the only country that entered the 21st century with a net gain in its number of trees.

• Israel is one of the world’s top leaders in agricultural development and fruit cloning.

• A quarter of the population holds a degree – ranking third in the world.

• Israel produces more scientific papers and more patents per capita than any other country.

• Relative to its population, Israel is the largest immigrant- absorbing nation, has more museums per capita and receives more media coverage than any other country in the world.

• Israel has sent emergency delegations around the world to assist foreign governments in times of major disaster including but not limited to Cambodia, Rwanda, Turkey, Argentina, Armenia, Russia, Kenya, New Orleans, Haiti, Japan, Indonesia and Thailand.

• The IDF was the first major medical team to set up camp immediately following the devastating earthquake in Haiti.

• The World Economic Forum has recognized Israel as one of the leading countries in the world in technological innovation.

• The cell phone, disk on key, instant messenger chat, voicemail technology and PillCam were all developed in Israel. The Pentium4 processor was designed and developed in Israel as well.

• Microsoft and Cisco built their largest R&D centers in Israel.

• Apple chose Israel as its first and only R&D center outside the US.

• Israel has the world’s highest percentage of engineers and scientists.

• Israel is a leader in genetics and preventive medicine.

• Israel sends hundreds of missions to developing countries worldwide.

• Israeli agricultural experts introduced drip-irrigation technology, saving water in arid regions.

• An Israeli company recently discovered a way to eradicate the use of pesticides for pest control by using edible oil instead.

• A simple, inexpensive Israeli solution for storing staples is helping Africans, South Americans and Asians survive food shortages.

• Except for the US and Canada, Israel has the most traded companies on Wall Street than any other country.

• Israel is a leader in coexistence programs that bring together Arabs and Jews.

• Israel has an incredible array of institutions that focus on charitable outreach and offering help to the needy.

• Israel is unique in terms of its size, location and diversity of climate and wildlife.

• Jerusalem’s Biblical Zoo is involved in worldwide breeding efforts and to reintroduce animals to their natural habitats.

• Israel is the only place where biblical history really comes alive.

• While far from perfect, the Knesset is an anomaly in the Middle East. Its makeup of Arabs and Jews, Secular and Orthodox and men and women makes Israel a unique liberal democracy – in fact the only one in the Middle East.

• Israel’s military prowess and might is world renowned. It is a leading force in battlefield technology, counterterrorism, combat skills, intelligence gathering and air superiority. The Mossad is likely the world’s top intelligence agency, unsurpassed in its ability to gather information from around the globe.

For all these reasons and more, it is important to recognize and appreciate that with all its problems, Israel is a great country.

Thank you Jpost for the article.

Israel – a Leader in Cardiology Innovation

8 12 2011

Carto™ RMT - Electroanatomical Navigation System by Biosense Webster

The “Innovations in Cardiovascular Interventions” (ICI) conference that took place this week in Tel Aviv is one of the largest international conferences in the field of cardiovascular intervention. Rambam Health Care Campus director general Prof. Rafael Beyar and Hadassah Medical Center Ein Kerem Heart Institute director Prof. Chaim Lotan who co-chaired the conference, spoke about the latest trends in cardiovascular intervention.

Lotan: “Israel is a world power in innovation – the top in terms of patents per capita, and first in terms of start up companies. In all of Silicon Valley there are 700 start ups. In Israel, there are 1,000 and only 7 million people – about the same amount as in Silicon Valley.”

Israel is a leader in cardiology innovation. Stents, heart valves that are inserted by catheters, devices to navigate in the heart, innovative pace makers – Israelis have significantly contributed to all of these important recent innovations in the cardiology device industry.

The latest popular products are valves. The heart has four valves that control the direction of blood flow, which wear out with age. Synthetic valves that can be implanted using catheters and without surgery are currently being marketed.

The valve developed by Israeli company Percutaneous Valve Technologies, Inc. (PVT), which was acquired by US Edwards Lifesciences LLC, is one of the leading products. “This is a true life-prolonging product, and there are very few new products like it,” Beyar says.

Beyar is very enthusiastic about the electrophysiology technology developed by Biosense, which was founded by Prof. Shlomo Ben-Haim, and in which Beyar himself was involved before it was sold to Johnson & Johnson for $550 million. The company’s R&D center is located in Israel and employs a few hundred people. The company develops products that can map the heart from inside, can navigate inside it, and can also carry out the ablation of specific points – in order to improve heart function. “This is currently one of Johnson & Johnson’s strongest businesses,” Beyar says.” Biosense products can be found in every hospital around the world. I ask them if they know that this product was developed in Haifa, and no one does.”

Lotan believes that significant trends in cardiology innovations are no longer based solely on products. “The market is changing; large companies no longer rely solely on US and European markets as they used to. Large markets have expanded in the Far East and in South America. Products for these locations are less complicated, but are aimed at a larger target population.”

The distant future of cardiology will probably involve stem cell technology. “There is a lot of know-how about this field in Israel,” Beyar says. “Initial trials show that heart function can be slightly improved, but we still have a long way to go.”

For further reading please click here

Breakthrough: Israel is Developing Cancer Vaccine

17 11 2011

Vaxil’s groundbreaking therapeutic vaccine, developed in Israel, could keep about 90 percent of cancers from coming back

In a breakthrough development, the Israeli company Vaxil BioTherapeutics has formulated a therapeutic cancer vaccine, now in clinical trials at Hadassah University Medical Center in Jerusalem. If all goes well, the vaccine could be available about six years down the road, to administer on a regular basis not only to help treat cancer but in order to keep the disease from recurring.

The vaccine is being tested against a type of blood cancer called multiple myeloma. If the substance works as hoped — and it looks like all arrows are pointing that way — its platform technology VaxHit could be applied to 90 percent of all known cancers, including prostate and breast cancer, solid and non-solid tumors.

“In cancer, the body knows something is not quite right but the immune system doesn’t know how to protect itself against the tumor like it does against an infection or virus. This is because cancer cells are the body’s own cells gone wrong,” says Julian Levy, the company’s CFO. “Coupled with that, a cancer patient has a depressed immune system, caused both by the illness and by the treatment.”

The trick is to activate a compromised immune system to mobilize against the threat.

“It’s a really big thing,” says Levy, a biotechnology entrepreneur who was formerly CEO for Biokine Therapeutics. “If you give chemo, apart from the really nasty side effects, what often happens is that cancer becomes immune [to it]. The tumor likes to mutate and develops an ability to hide from the treatment. Our vaccines are also designed to overcome that problem.”

For cancers in an advanced stage, treatments like chemo or surgery to remove a large tumor will still be needed, but if the cancer can be brought down to scale, the body is then able to deal with it, Levy explains. ImMucin is foreseen as a long-term strategy — a shot every few months, with no side effects — to stop the cancer from reoccurring after initial treatments, by ensuring that the patient’s own immune system keeps it under control.

For more info about this incredible vaccine, visit Vaxil at

Thank you uwi for the story.