First live op using holographic imaging; Global women entrepreneurs come to Tel Aviv.; Super intelligent with less power; and much more!
by Michael Ordman
ISRAEL’S MEDICAL ACHIEVEMENTS
First live op using holographic imaging
Surgeons at Toronto General Hospital performed the first live medical procedure using real-time holographic imaging developed by Israel’s RealView Imaging (see here). The 3D images allowed the surgeons to see inside the heart prior to a mitral valve replacement procedure.
First ever vein transplant from living donor
Avi Yavetz from Modi’in suffers from peripheral vascular disease (PVD) and a leg amputation was imminent. However, his son, 27-year-old Snir donated a long vein, which was implanted into his father in a first of its kind operation. Two weeks later and both are doing fine.
Brain monitoring in real time
I reported previously (Mar 2015) on the computer interface device from Israel’s Neurosteer used to monitor brain activity. The three-strip wearable device is now in clinical trials in Israel, Europe and the United States and proving far simpler and more useful than EEG and fMRI alternatives.
US approval for surgical mesh
I reported previously (Apr 2017)on the innovative FasTouch fixation system from Israel’s Via Surgical for hernia repairs. The company has just announced that it has received US FDA approval for the system. https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/via-surgical-receives-fda-clearance-for-its-fastouch-absorbable-fixation-system-300813799.html
European approval for aortic arch repair system
I reported previously (Apr 2018) when Israel’s Endospan received the CE mark for its Horizon stent graft system to treat Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm. It now also has received the CE mark for its Nexus Stent Graft System to treat Aortic Arch Disease.
Fast test to identify the right antibiotic
I’ve reported previously (see here) on the many Israeli innovations that are trying to prevent antibiotics from becoming ineffective. Now Israeli startup Nanosynex offers a 4-hour test to determine which antibiotic will be effective and what dose to use to prevent it developing resistance.
Smart migraine patches heading for US
I reported previously (Oct 2016) on the Nerivio Migra smart patch from Israel’s Theranica to provide migraine relief. Since then, Theranica has successfully completed a 12-center pivotal study of the patch and has raised $35 million for US FDA approval and beyond.
Successful trials of pregnancy monitor
I reported previously (Jun 2015) on the PregSense wearable fetal monitor from Israel’s Nuvo. Renamed Invu,,multi-center trials produced fetal and maternal heart rates comparable to existing standalone cardiotocographs (CTGs). US FDA review is in progress.
Good trial results for NASH treatment
I reported previously (Oct 2014) that the Aramchol treatment from Israel’s Galmed for Non-Alcoholic Steatohepatitis (NASH) had been fast-tracked by the US FDA. Latest trials show that twice-daily dosages of Aramchol significantly increased blood plasma levels.
Hope for flu sufferers
The 3rd episode of Israel’s Weizmann in Focus, highlights that, since October, 7.3 million Americans have been sick with the flu virus with over 80,000 hospitalized. Weizmann Professor Ruth Arnon’s work has led to the development of the Universal Flu Virus, being trialed by Israel’s BiondVax.
Israelis have lowest diet-related deaths
An analysis of dietary data has shown that Israel has the lowest rate of diet-related deaths in the world. The Global Burden of Disease study, published in UK’s The Lancet, reported that in Israel, just 89 people out of every 100,000 die each year in deaths related to poor-quality diet.
Probiotic chew for women
Israel’s Anlit has launched a probiotics chew targeting women’s health. Feminine Probiotics contains a blend of six different strains of live probiotic bacteria plus cranberry extract to support genitourinary tract health. It comes as a vanilla-cranberry flavored chew that melts in the mouth.
ISRAEL IS INCLUSIVE AND GLOBAL
Democratic and visionary
Israel’s OrCam provided its MyEye2 device to enable many visually impaired to vote in Israel’s general election. Escorts helped others to vote. 22,000 of Israel’s 6.3 million voters are legally blind plus another 100,000 have visual impairments.
Hi-tech professionals give back to society
At the NGO Israel’s Society Labs, high-tech professionals volunteer their knowledge and technology to support social change.
Global women entrepreneurs come to Tel Aviv
I reported last week on the inaugural Forbes 2019 Under 30 Global Women’s Summit that took place in Tel Aviv. Here is a video by ILTV of the event.
From Ethiopia to Jerusalem
Sigal Kanotopsky, head of the charity Olim Beyahad, recalls her family’s extraordinary exodus from Ethiopia to Israel in a secret operation called Shiur Moledet. Olim Beyahad has integrated about 900 Ethiopian Israeli university graduates into suitable jobs through its programs.
Israeli president’s military secretary is Druze
The IDF has promoted Colonel Ala Abu Rukan to Brigadier General. The Druze officer will be the new Military Secretary to the Israeli President Reuben Rivlin and take responsibility for liaison between the President and the IDF, intelligence services, police and prison services.
World Health Day
On 7th April, Israel joined the world in marking World Health Day. Israeli is working to provide better universal health around the world by helping developing countries, technologies (e.g. water), field hospitals after natural disasters, battling epidemics and training health professionals.
International Sports and Peace Day
Israel marked International Sports and Peace Day on 7th April. Hundreds of children from all across Israeli society participated in a special event in the city of Ramla. They took part in the martial arts karate, taekwondo and capoeira. They also played soccer, table tennis and tennis.
US resolution lauds Israeli-Americans
A resolution introduced by three Republican senators states that “the Israeli-American community has contributed immensely to the society and culture of the United States; and condemns all forms of discrimination that aim to marginalize or disenfranchise members …..”.
More University courses for English speakers
The Israeli Council for Higher Education has approved 7 undergraduate courses and 19 master’s degrees in the English language. They aim to double, by 2022, the current 12,000 international students studying in English at Israeli Universities and Colleges.
How IsraAID helped children in Paradise
This video highlights the work of the IsraAID NGO following the fires that destroyed the California town of Paradise. The Israelis helped many of the children of the community recover from the trauma of that tragic event.
Kurdish delegation visits Israel
A Kurdish delegation from Iraq and Syria visited Israel as guests of the Safadi Center and the Kurdistan-Israel Friendship Association. They visited Jerusalem, the Golan, Judea and Samaria and Sheba Medical Center at Tel Hashomer, which is treating over 15 children from Kurdistan.
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
SpaceIL’s spacecraft was just a few kilometers from the Moon when engine failure caused Beresheet to crash land. However, Israel is one of only 7 countries to put a spacecraft into Moon orbit – and the Israeli flag is on the Moon! SpaceIL subsequently won a $1 million Google Lunar XPRIZE in recognition of “a new era in space exploration.” Finally, breaking news – primary sponsor Morris Kahn has just announced Beresheet 2.
Moovit to the voting station
Israel public transportation app Moovit operated a special service to encourage voting in Tuesday’s National Election. It helped users navigate their way to their polling station and reminded them to go out and vote. All interurban public transportation was free from 8pm Monday until end Tuesday.
Smart transportation research center
Israel’s Technion Institute and Bar-Ilan University have won the Israeli government’s tender to jointly build a new National Center for the Promotion of Smart Transportation Research. It will bring Israeli and overseas researchers together to work on smart transportation ventures.
Super intelligent with less power
Israeli startup Brodmann17 has developed technology that can process artificial intelligent (AI) algorithms on low powered computer chips. Meanwhile Israel’s Run:AI has also developed software that automatically optimizes computer resources for deep learning processes.
The HR platform of the future workplace
I reported previously (Mar 2017) on Israel’s Hibob when it was developing a computer system for UK insurance giant Aviva. Now it is focused on building the first HR platform for the workplace of the future and has raised $20 million in funding. https://www.hibob.com/
Security for gas pipelines
I briefly mentioned previously (2nd Mar) Israel’s Prisma Photonics and its fiber sensing system. Prisma has just won the Israeli Government (GCA) Challenge for detecting unauthorized activities along the 700 km of pipelines of the Israeli Natural Gas Lines.
Israeli radar system to protect Beijing airport
Beijing Capital International Airport has selected foreign object detection (FOD) technology from Israel’s Xsight Systems (see here). The system will be installed on the airport’s east runway, protecting take-offs and landings from debris, birds, and other hazardous objects.
Predicting failures in electronic systems
Three co-founders of Israel’s Mellanox have founded ProteanTecs. The new company develops technology that will allow devices to report their health and warn of failures. Its markets include enterprise IT and autonomous vehicles. (See also EcoPlant, Augury, 3DSignals and Opgal)
Robotraffic competition attracts 1,000 students
Many of the participants in the Nadav Shoham Robotraffic Competition at Israel’s Technion Institute were too young to drive. Yet they were building autonomous cars. The 1,000 students came from Israel (Jews & Arabs), the US, Argentina, Russia, Mexico, and Ukraine.
ECONOMY & BUSINESS
New record for currency reserves
Israel’s reserves of foreign exchange at the end of March stood at a new all-time-record of just over $118 billion.
Indian accelerator to invest in Israeli startups
India’s Anthill Ventures is to open a startup accelerator in Tel Aviv. Anthill has recently raised $10 million to fund the accelerator and is looking to invest up to $1 million per company in Israeli startups with the potential of successfully entering Asian markets.
Japan invests in Israel
Involvement by Japanese companies in Israel have surged recently. In 2018 Japanese firms’ investments and acquisitions relating to Israeli startups and tech firms totaled some $791 million in 28 deals. https://www.timesofisrael.com/japanese-investment-in-israel-blossoms-as-firms-scout-for-tech/
Everyone wants Israeli companies
Nvidia’a CEO Jensen Huang celebrated his company’s takeover of Israel’s Mellanox with an event at Tel Aviv port. He declared, “One of the things I’ve learned about Israeli companies is that everyone wants them.”
Israel’s air tourists
This article highlights the surge in visitors to Israel, from 2.9 million in 2016 to 4.1 million last year. New airline services are announced almost weekly. E.g. El Al will soon add Las Vegas, San Francisco and Chicago to its direct routes from New York, Miami, Boston, Los Angeles and Toronto.
TAP Portugal flies daily from Tel Aviv to Lisbon
TAP (Transportes Aéreos Portugueses) Air Portugal has launched a direct daily flight service from Tel Aviv to Lisbon.
Discounted shopping at Dead Sea mall
A new mall at the Dead Sea offers both Israelis and tourists products at prices less the Value Added Tax amount. The cost of the rebate will be footed by the developer of the mall. Overseas tourists will be able to claim a double discount as they can still get a VAT rebate on many items.
OurCrowd fund for medical innovation
Israel’s OurCrowd has launched the OurCrowd Medtech Fund. The $50m fund will focus exclusively on investing in disruptive medical technologies and therapeutics with the potential to transform global healthcare delivery and patient outcomes.
Elbit has vision
Elbit, one of Israel’s largest companies, is acquiring the night vision business of American technology company Harris Corporation for $350 million. The night vision unit generates annual sales of $150 million to $160 million. https://www.calcalistech.com/ctech/articles/0,7340,L-3759889,00.html
Seven Haredi startups (Camdoc, YieldsApp, Ideeza, Emerj, Menivim, TakeOver and LiST).will take part in Calcalist’s New York conference on April 10-12. They are all members of an accelerator program run by non-profit KamaTech, working to integrate Israel’s ultra-Orthodox population into its tech industry.
Share a ride to the airport
El Al has launched Taxipool – a free smartphone service that allows passengers of any airline to share taxis when they reach their destination, including in Israel. Passengers register and are matched with others on the same flight and then directed by text or email to a secure anonymous chatroom.
CULTURE, ENTERTAINMENT & SPORT
Exhibit to honor IDF reservists
Artist and sculptor Chen Winkler served for 30 years as a major-general in the IDF reserves. He has prepared an exhibit in appreciation for the exceptional service of all IDF reservists. It can be seen until 28th April at the Amiad Gallery in the Jaffa Marketplace – free of charge.
Madonna to star at Eurovision
Madonna will perform live at the Eurovision grand finale in Tel Aviv on May 18. She will arrive with a 65-person staff, including dozens of backup dancers. The cost of bringing the international superstar to Israel will be covered by Israeli-Canadian billionaire philanthropist Sylvan Adams.
New baby rhino
I reported previously (Feb 2017) when Rihanna the rhino had her first calf at Ramat Gan safari. Her second has just been born and has been named Rainy-Rafiki. Rafiki means “friend” in Swahili. “Rainy”, because of Israel’s good rains. She is the 32nd rhino to be born at Ramat Gan – a European record.
The world’s oldest pro-soccer player
73-year-old Israeli Isaak Hayik has just set a new world record as the oldest person to play in a professional soccer match. Hayik was goalkeeper for Ironi Or Yehuda and made some good saves despite his team’s 5-1 defeat to Maccabi Ramat Gan. https://www.jpost.com/Israel-News/Israeli-soccer-star-becomes-worlds-oldest-player-breaks-Guinness-record-585886
THE JEWISH STATE
Growing avocado trees on the Gaza border
Now that the winter rains have subsided, Israeli farmers on the Gaza border are starting their Spring Planting. Many are making the desert grow and thrive by planting new avocado trees. Despite the missiles from Gaza recently, they continue to develop the Negev.
Israeli farm of blessings
In Israel’s Gush Etzion region, Beit Bracha Mitzvot Farm offers Jews visiting Israel the opportunity to fulfill Biblical commandments than can only be performed within the boundaries of the Land of Israel. They include planting wheat and olive trees, tending to vineyards, and taking the proper tithes.
A model seder for foreign diplomats
The Israel branch of the World Jewish Congress held a model Passover seder at the Carlton Hotel in Tel Aviv in honor of 30 foreign ambassadors and journalists stationed in Israel. The Ambassador of Honduras found the afikoman and was given a souvenir depicting Jerusalem as his prize.
Passover in Israel
During the Jewish festival of Passover, many museums and events will be free of charge. Try Jerusalem’s Gazelle Valley Park or Botanical gardens or Pharaoh Mania at the Bible Lands Museum. 40 Israeli museums have free entrance thanks to sponsorship from Bank Hapoalim.
Israeli democracy is the winner
Israeli citizens went to the polls to vote for their 21st Knesset in the 71-year history of the Modern State of Israel. It was an exciting event without any hint of violence despite the closeness of the result. https://worldisraelnews.com/watch-netanyahu-celebrates-as-israel-hands-him-a-fifth-term/
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