The Uniqueness of Israel
There are a constant stream of exciting innovations coming out of Israel and while the country is suffering from the coronavirus, it has also inspired a great deal of creative thinking and many Israeli companies are busy working on ways that their technology can help with the pandemic.
For example, Soapy has introduced an antiviral soap to be used in its automatic handwashing micro-stations that are found across the world. Testing carried out in the past has shown that the special soap is capable of killing viruses that are more resilient than COVID-19.
Another example is CoughSync, which was developed at the Alyn paediatric and adolescent rehabilitation hospital in Jerusalem. The device was created to help pneumonia sufferers get rid of phlegm and it is thought that it could ease the treatment of coronavirus patients and reduce the danger of contagion to health care providers. At present, it is awaiting approval and is expected to reach the market in the coming months.
Israel also has companies that are working on facemask technology. Sonovia and Argaman have developed antimicrobial fabrics, initially for hospital linens or chemotherapy patients, but they can be make into facemasks that may even kill, rather than just block, the coronavirus. There has already been an order from Argaman for enough treated fabric to make 1 million masks while there are laboratories in China and Singapore currently testing Sonovia’s fabric.
The MIGAL Galilee Research Institute has been working on a vaccine against poultry coronavirus for the last four years and they have quickly begun adapting it to COVID-19. There were early reports that a vaccine could be ready in as little as 90-days, but this would just be a prototype and a fully tested and regulated vaccine would take far longer to produce. Nonetheless, it is encouraging news.
There are also start-ups that are trying to help the coronavirus patients in Israel. A number of telemedicine start-ups have been able to use their technologies to help patients at the Chaim Sheba Medical Center at Tel Hashomer. For example, TytoCare’s remote examination device allowed doctors at the centre to asses Israelis who were stuck on a cruise ship and suspected of having the virus. Medical staff at the centre can use the Datos automated remote care platform to supervise quarantined and mildly ill patients without the need for hospital trips.
There are many more companies whose technology has proven itself useful. For instance, EarlySense produce a sensor that goes under the mattress and monitors and analyses breathing patterns looking for potential signs of a respiratory infection. BioBeat produce wireless non-invasive stickers that are FDA approved and monitor blood pressure, blood oxygen levels, and pulse. Any technology that is able to create distance between the medics and the patients is considered invaluable, as it will help prevent the spread of the disease to those who are treating it.
There is much more Israeli tech being used to battle the coronavirus and in the months ahead, much more of it is sure to emerge.
y provides its staff with onsite lunch. With the entire company working from home, rather than cancel the meals, they are instead packing the meals up and distributing them to non-profits.
Israelis in the entertainment industry have also been working hard to help their fellow citizens stay sane. For example, the singer Idan Raichel live-streamed a concert from his living room that was enjoyed by more than 400,000 people. There are also free live-streamed shows that are the result of cooperation between the music club network Zappa and the broadcaster Keshet. The shows feature a range of prominent Israeli entertainers including names such as Shiri Maimon, Sarit Hadad and the Shalva Band. The Jerusalem Street Orchestra also managed to produce an at home performance for everyone to enjoy online.
While there is no doubt that these are trying times, as always, Israel has shown itself to be a nation full of generous people who truly come together when it is most important.