Israel’s innovation ecosystem and its capabilities are opening doors to startups, be it in healthcare, agriculture, water or any other sectors, Israel is providing solutions in all the areas and continue to do more.
One such innovation in Women Healthcare is, “Amniocentesis” – a procedure offered to pregnant people to check for abnormalities in fetuses. The procedure involves sampling amniotic fluid, and then testing for any genetic or chromosomal conditions. However, the process is invasive and poses a higher risk for a miscarriage.
However, the procedure can only be done after week 15, of the pregnancy. This limits the accessibility of abortion as most US states have banned abortion that far into a pregnancy.
NIPT, noninvasive prenatal screening, is another way to detect fetal abnormalities. This test involves examining small fragments of DNA in a pregnant person’s blood.
Prof. Noam Shomron, Head of Functional Genomics Lab at TAU’s Medical School and the Director of the Djerassi Institute of Oncology, came up with a solution – a blood test done as early as week 10 into the pregnancy to detect fetal abnormalities. Shomron has been working on an AI based software called “Hoobari” for six years. Now, Hoobari is one of the main focuses of a startup called IdentifAI Genetics, headed by Omar Tadmor.
IdentifAI aims to replace NIPT. Most of the time, NIPT produces false positives in four out of five cases for specific mutations and detects only a few mutations.
IdentifAI will be able to differentiate the mother’s and the embryo’s DNA while testing. Right now, NIPT is able to detect only 10 mutations. Omar claims that IdentifAI will be able to detect hundreds.
If you would like to know more about the various technologies from Israel, please feel free to get in touch.
Veshala Gajaraj, Trade Officer, Trade & Economic Mission of Israel in Bengaluru