Israel’s ingenuity and unyielding pursuit of innovation have made the nation an international high-tech hub, catapulting the country to global leadership in diverse sectors like cybersecurity, digital health, drone technology, and mobility. But Israel’s vibrant tech ecosystem is more than just an engine for economic growth and new efficiencies. It has also served as a force for good, helping tackle some of the globe’s biggest challenges by forging a cleaner, safer, and healthier world.
“In Israel, a land lacking in natural resources, we learned to appreciate our greatest national advantage: our minds,” late Israeli President Shimon Peres, a pivotal figure in jumpstarting Israel’s high-tech economy, once remarked. “Through creativity and innovation, we transformed barren deserts into flourishing fields and pioneered new frontiers in science and technology.”
How have those frontiers transcended international borders? Consider the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and you’ll quickly find that Israel is pioneering some of the most exciting and inspiring technologies to help meet them.
Among the U.N.’s goals is ensuring good health and well-being for people of all ages, and Israel’s robust life sciences and medical device industry is widely renowned for spurring some of the world’s biggest medical advances. Israeli startups, for example, are developing promising cancer treatments, leveraging genomic research for clinical use, and applying sophisticated sensing technology for use on connected devices.
Healthy.io, for instance, is at the forefront of the digital transformation of healthcare, harnessing advanced computer algorithms to turn the smartphone camera into a medical device. The company recently secured FDA approval for its first product, Dip.io, a smartphone-based urinalysis tool that enables patients with chronic kidney disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, and other conditions to conduct clinical-grade urine tests from the comfort of their own homes – call it a “medical selfie.”
VITALERTER, meanwhile, is driving innovation in long-term care and telemedicine with an IoT sensor-based platform that allows ongoing, real-time monitoring of patients’ health data. The predictive platform generates instant alerts when a clinical event occurs, or vital signs deteriorate, enabling care providers to rapidly respond and improve outcomes. Cnoga Medical also measures and collects patient health data with its noninvasive devices, which use LED technology to perform diagnoses by examining the color shades of patients’ fingers. Founded in 2004, the company is headquartered in Caesarea, Israel and also has offices in Shanghai and São Paulo.
Peak Medical’s airway management, emergency, and critical care devices are a unique set of medical devices, based on eight patents and patent applications. Its products target neonatal care, including resuscitators, monitors, and ventilators for high-risk premature births.
For those in their golden years, Hip-Hope’s wearable hip protector is a game-changer. The product utilizes multi-sensor technology to protect users when they are about to hit the ground, deploying airbags to protect the hips upon impact.
For people of all ages, a safe and clean environment is essential to health and well-being, which is why the U.N. includes affordable and clean energy in its Sustainable Development Goals. Israel’s clean-tech and environmental sector is rising to the challenge, with the country’s widely acclaimed water and agriculture technologies being leveraged by major bodies like the International Monetary Fund and World Bank. But there’s much more: Homebiogas has developed an off-grid system that enables users to generate clean energy from household waste, producing up to two hours of cooking gas daily. 3PLW also treats waste, in this case to produce 100% recycled bioplastic. Using waste as feedstock and revenue, the company is meeting one of the biggest challenges to face players in the bioplastics space: cost. In yet another industry – fashion – Twine is bringing new efficiency and eco-friendliness to thread-dyeing, with proprietary technology that performs thread dyeing on demand without using any water.
Israeli companies aren’t just making the world cleaner; they’re also fortifying it against natural disasters. Seismic AI is a case in point: Using algorithms based on machine learning and seismic detection technology, the company has built an early earthquake detection system to catch seismic events that may otherwise be missed and provide citizens in earthquake-prone regions with advance warning ahead of a quake.
Of course, ensuring a safe and sustainable future for the planet hinges in large part on developments in mobility, and Israel’s automotive technology industry is helping to foster a cleaner, more innovative, and more user-friendly mobility ecosystem. The ride-sharing service Via is paving the way to the on-demand transit systems of the future, with a platform that utilizes a state-of-the-art algorithm to match users to the most efficient rides and routes. Since its 2013 launch, the company has enabled more than 30 million rides globally, helping users save money and reduce their carbon footprints.
But it’s not only commuters who need sophisticated mobility solutions; transit operators need the best possible technology, too. Enter Waycare, whose platform uses vehicle information and real-time traffic data to generate predictive insights and optimize traffic management in a smart, eco-friendly way. Smart cities around the world are deploying Waycare’s platform to take full control of their roads.
From life-saving medical technologies to ingenious solutions for clean energy and environmentally sound transportation options, the Israeli tech industry isn’t merely about the bottom line. It’s about applying innovation to make the world a better place to live, work, and travel.
For more information, please email Johannesburg@israeltrade.gov.il.