It’s no secret that Israel – the ‘start-up nation’ – is a global centre for technology. Culture Trip explores the country’s homegrown developments that are making an impact on a global scale.
The SniffPhone is a diagnostic tool that can literally sniff out disease. Currently undergoing field trials, this project is an evolution of the ‘NaNose’ technology developed by Professor Hossam Haick of the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology.
NaNose is a breathalyser that can detect the symptomatic odour caused by some cancerous tumours, Parkinson’s dementia, multiple sclerosis and many more diseases to an 86% to 93% degree of accuracy. The SniffPhone aims to further simplify this diagnostic process by making the technology accessible via a plug-in that can be attached to smartphones.
It is estimated to become commercial within four to six years and will be “highly accurate, affordable, easy to use, comfortable and easy to repeat”, according to its developers.
After a tragic accident left him paralysed from the waist down, Dr Amit Goffer spent years developing a way for paraplegics to be less dependent on wheelchairs.
Enter the ReWalk by Argo Medical Technologies. Allowing the user to stand upright, walk and even climb stairs, this exoskeleton-esque robot receives movement signals from a wristwatch and is powered by a backpack battery. It’s been available for public use since 2014 and has made appearances at the London Marathon and the 2012 London Paralympics.
Inspired by a personal experience with chronic stomach pain, scientist Gavriel Iddan of Given Imaging (now Medtronic) came up with the idea of creating a digestible, disposable camera that transmits data to a receiver outside the body. FDA-approved, the PillCam is now used across the globe to diagnose infection, intestinal disorders and cancers in the digestive system. It’s also able to access areas of the digestive system that are typically out of range during a conventional procedure.
The PillCam has revolutionised modern medicine by allowing patients to avoid visits to the hospital. For his invention, Iddan received the European Inventor Award in 2011, 14 years after the prototype was first released.