It is through technological innovation that people are being kept alive and businesses afloat; tech will emerge as one of the heroes of this time – alongside, of course, the NHS/health professionals and other key workers. The pandemic is driving technology companies to innovate faster and harder than ever – Israeli start-ups among them.
From smart phones-cum-medical devices and hand-held health check kits to personal robots, we profile some of the pioneering gadgets, and the companies behind them, that are already proving, and will continue to prove essential, amid the coronavirus crisis.
Hugo Bieber, chief executive of UK Israel Business, who has been championing such companies via the organisation’s UK Israel HealthTech Forum, says: “Feedback from our forums is that Israel is seen as five to 10 years ahead of the UK in terms of technology utilisation in the health system and the UK is keen to learn. If there’s one positive to Covid-19, it has highlighted the urgent need to utilise technology more effectively within the NHS to improve the patient experience while reducing costs.
“The companies profiled in this Jewish News-UK-Israel Business feature are just a sample of companies that can directly improve the delivery and experience of healthcare.
“We also see tech innovators outside of healthcare using their expertise in areas such as machine vision, cybersecurity and artificial intelligence to tackle some of the biggest challenges in health. We expect this crisis to speed up the pace of innovation, creating opportunities for even deeper UK-Israel collaborations.”
Temi (or temi, as it is known) is the world’s first self-navigating personal robot being used in care homes, hospitals, homes and commercial spaces. It helps the elderly without the risk of others being infected with the coronavirus, relieving the work of healthcare personnel. It is one of TIME magazine’s innovations of 2019 and recently featured on BBC’s Click.
How does it work?
The robots autonomously move between patients and provide remote video chat with doctors and nurses. They can deliver medicine and take temperatures without a human having to be in the room or near a patient. Via temis, people can make video calls, so families can still communicate without being physically present. You can also talk to Alexa on your temi, play music, check the weather and control smart home devices.
In 2016 by Yossi Wolf and Gal Goren.
The tech is developed in Israel with research and development (R&D) in Tel Aviv and China. Offices are in New York and Tel Aviv. The total team consists of around 80 people.
Yossi Wolf: “A few years ago, my life changed. I spent an afternoon with my grandmother and noticed how shaky her hands were and how difficult it was for her to hold a cup of tea. I then watched her try to operate her smartphone – she had trouble with that, too.
“At that moment, I decided to devote my life to creating temi for her. When I realised all the cool things a personal robot can do,I wanted one for myself. While smartphones keep us connected at any time, temi the personal robot keeps us present anywhere.”
Mainly USA, China, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Thailand and
Expand the platform and customer base and keep adding features.
Helping fight the Covid-19 pandemic:
Temi has been providing robots to hospitals and nursing homes to offer some social comforting and medical monitoring. In Israel, robots are used in the Sheba Medical Center to monitor quarantined patients while maximising staff safety. In South Korea, they are used in elderly facilities and public spaces to safely monitor fever and prevent further spread. In the US, where nursing home visits are restricted, temi enables families to ‘hang out’ with loved ones.
Yaron Yoels, chief marketing officer, temi:
“It feels great that a product we developed can assist in such hard times. The feedback we get from hospitals, elderly care facilities and nursing homes is worth everything. One hospital told us that temi is life changing and they don’t see how they could work without it.
“We have been in the telecare and medical sector before the virus so, for us, it’s well known how temi can assis; the situation just made the whole world understand the importance of having a way to actually be able to talk to someone without them having to do anything on the other end, and all with autonomically navigating through the area.
“The industry of personal robotics after the coronavirus will surely be at a different level than before. Everyone is going to understand the need for robots to be in places where humans can’t. I imagine there will be an option for robots in every airport or public place and in every office or medical facility.
“Our distributors around the world are offering many virus-related solutions, such as adding a thermometer to the robot or sanitiser and several kinds of sensors that help test people’s health automatically without another person having to be involved.”
About Tyto Care:
Tyto Care is transforming primary care by putting health in the hands of consumers. It connects people to clinicians with the healthcare industry’s first all-in-one modular telehealth device and platform for on-demand, remote medical exams and diagnoses.
Tyto Care received clearance from the US Food and Drug Administration in 2016, Certification Experts (CE) Mark and Health Canada approval in 2018 and is Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act Compliant.
How does it work:
Tyto Care’s handheld telehealth examination device, TytoHome, replicates a doctor’s visit, enabling users to perform comprehensive examinations of the lungs, skin, ears, throat, abdomen, and body temperature, providing doctors clinical data for remote diagnosis of common scenarios.
Initially created to bring the convenience and accessibility of the on-demand era to primary care, Tyto Care is now helping to address the Covid-19 virus, fully realising telehealth’s potential at this critical time.
Tyto Care provides medical staff with the clinical data required to make informed decisions from a safe distance and enabling the “worried well” to receive care at home.
In 2012 by Dedi Gilad and Ofer Tzadik.
Headquarters in New York and R&D in Israel, with a team of 70.
Dedi Gilad’s young daughter experienced frequent ear infections and he felt there must be a more convenient and accessible way to diagnose and treat acute care scenarios. So he and Ofer Tzadik created Tyto Care to transform primary care by enabling clinic-quality telehealth exams anywhere, anytime, enabling patients to receive peace of mind, care, a treatment plan and prescription, all from the comfort of home.
Tyto Care works with 70+ leading health systems and hospitals in the US, Israel, Europe, and South East Asia. TytoHome is also sold directly to consumers across the US and online.
To extend the types of examinations possible with the device to broaden the telehealth offering for urgent and primary care and chronic conditions. Plans to expand its AI capabilities, while working to bring its solution to additional health systems and consumers.
Helping fight the Covid-19 pandemic:
Tyto Care aids health systems around the world treat patients and helps to stem the spread of the virus by enabling medical professionals to examine and diagnose quarantined and symptomatic patients from a safe distance. It is the only all-in-one telehealth examination solution allowing doctors to remotely connect with quarantined or symptomatic people at home to perform physical examinations, including lung exams, which are key for diagnosing and monitoring Covid-19.
The solution can be deployed quickly and at scale, with training and implementation possible within a single day, to help stem the spread of the virus and keep medical professionals and the wider population safe.
Tyto Care allows healthy people to receive the care and attention they need from home, keeping them out of emergency rooms and clinics, reducing the load on medical systems.
Health systems and hospitals around the world have reached out with interest in using Tyto Care’s telehealth solution to treat infected patients and help stem the spread of Covid-19. Nearly all Israeli hospitals are working with Tyto Care to examine patients, as well as to monitor patients in isolation at home.
Dedi Gilad, Tyto Care co-founder and CEO:
“Telehealth has emerged as an excellent tool to help reduce the transmission of Covid-19. Tyto Care is proving extremely effective in helping stem the spread of the virus and preventing the overrun of healthcare systems. Telehealth’s potential is being realised at this critical time and Tyto Care is proud to be a part of the solution.”
In the midst of the crisis, Healthy.io is working hard to make its at-home clinical urine tests available for patients around the globe.
Healthy.io turns your smart phone into a clinical-grade medical device. By combining image and colour recognition technology, Healthy.io’s clinical-grade home urinalysis kits aid in early diagnosis of chronic kidney disease, urinary tract infections (UTI) and prenatal care.
The company’s CE accredited digital wound management solution replaces outdated wound tracking techniques. Using computer vision algorithms, Healthy.io can turn a smartphone camera into a wound documentation and measurement tool, offering consistency in documentation as well as visibility to the wound progression, empowering evidence-based care decisions. Healthy.io was recently selected as one of Fast Company’s Top 50 Most Innovative Companies for 2020 and CB Insights’ AI 100 list of the most promising AI start-ups worldwide.
Yonatan Adiri in 2013.
In Tel Aviv, with a team of 100+ in Israel, the UK, and the US.
Yonatan Adiri realised advancements in smartphone cameras could enable people to use their mobile phones as clinical grade medical devices. Since then, Healthy.io pioneered advancements in home urinalysis and chronic wound management that are broadening access to healthcare, creating new treatment pathways, and easing the healthcare burden.
Europe, the US, and Israel. In Europe, Healthy.io is serving more than 125,000 patients across three main clinical pathways – prenatal urine testing, ACR testing, and UTI testing.
To provide more patients, clinicians, and health systems with clinical-grade and convenient tools in the field of urinalysis and wound management.
Katherine Ward, chief commercial officer and UK GM of Healthy.io:
“While this technology will speed up diagnosis and treatment, it can also mitigate the risk of potentially infected coronavirus patients coming into contact with pregnant women or kidney patients by not having to come into hospital for an appointment. By making it possible for patients to take urine tests quickly and safely and not rely on an already stretched NHS, we’re helping lessen avoidable clinical appointments and reduce unplanned admissions to A&E.
“Our technology can help significantly reduce the number of patient visits, reduce the workload on laboratory services and take the pressure off limited NHS resources, to help ensure patients who require urgent attention can be managed and treated rapidly.”