This Week’s Sanity Report from Israel Sept 29 2019
The highlights include:
- US approval has just been given to seven Israeli medical devices and treatments.
- The first Israeli woman to command an IAF squadron.
- Another 8 Rwandan children are flown to Israel for free heart surgery.
- An Israeli startup is now splitting water to produce hydrogen.
- Amazon now offers local delivery to Israel.
- Israel won the baseball playoffs to compete in the Olympics.
- Happy New Year from the Jewish State.
ISRAEL’S MEDICAL ACHIEVEMENTS
Heart implant is a breakthrough (twice). (TY Atid-EDI) I reported previously (see here) on the interatrial shunt developed by Israel’s V-Wave. The US FDA has just granted two Breakthrough Device Designations to the device – the first is for Heart Failure (HF), and the second, for Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension (PAH).
Spine device gets humanitarian status. (Ty Atid-EDI) I reported previously (see here) on the twisted spine treatment from Israel’s Apifix. The U.S. FDA has given Humanitarian Device Exemption (HDE) to Apifix to market its MID-C system. Apifix addresses the unmet clinical need for an alternative to spinal fusion.
US approval for upright wheelchair. I’ve reported previously (see here) about Israel’s UPnRIDE robotic standing wheelchair that allows wheelchair users to travel upright. The US FDA has just cleared the UPnRIDE for marketing and use in the US. Cofounder Dr Amit Goffer is a quadriplegic who uses the UPnRIDE himself.
FDA approves diabetes management system. I’ve reported previously (see here) on the diabetes monitors from Israel’s DreaMed. The US FDA has just given approval to DreaMed’s Advisor Pro, to add to its EU approval. The software tells Type 1 diabetics how much insulin to use, without having to contact a physician.
Smartphone CKD diagnosis approved. (TY Atid-EDI) I’ve reported previously (see here) on Israel’s Healthy.io and its smartphone-based urinalysis for Chronic Kidney Disease. It is now US and EU approved and some 100,000 kits have been sold. Healthy.io has just raised $60 million of funds. https://healthy.io/about-us/
US approval for ultrasound skin tightening. (TY Atid-EDI) I recently reported (20th Aug) that Israel’s SofWave had received CE certification for its non-invasive ultrasound technology for skin tightening. It has now also received FDA approval. 86% of a recent trial demonstrated improvement in wrinkle appearance.
US approval for lung diagnosis catheter. I reported previously (May 2017) on Israel’s Body Vision Medical when it was producing hi-res maps of the lungs to aid tumor removal. Since then it has developed a disposable lung navigation catheter which recently received US FDA approval. The company has also raised $20 million.
EU funds heart protection device. Israeli startup Filterlex Medical has received 2.1 million euros from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program. Filterlex develops an embolic protection device to reduce the risk of stroke and other complications during catheter-based heart procedures.
Treatments for eye diseases. (TY Atid-EDI) Israeli biotech Wize Pharma markets Israeli-developed LO2A eye drops for the treatment of ophthalmic disorders, including Dry Eye Syndrome. Wize is now to develop and trial the WP-REP1 gene therapy from Cleveland’s Copernicus for treating the rare eye disease Choroideremia.
Innovative infusion systems. (TY Atid-EDI) The infusion systems of Israel’s Eitan Group (Q-core, Sorrel and Avoset), are installed worldwide. E.g. there are 100,000 of Q-cores Sapphire devices in the market. Eitan has now agreed that Canadian Hospital Specialties will supply and support Sapphire across Canada.
ISRAEL IS INCLUSIVE AND GLOBAL
Israel’s first female flight squadron commander. (TY WIN) I reported previously (see here) on the appointment of female deputy squadron commanders in the Israeli Air Force. Now for the first time one has been promoted to full squadron commander. Mother of two, Lt. Col. “Gimel” joined the IAF 16 years ago.
Jewish and Arab medics save Israeli boy. (TY David F) 14-year-old Sinai Levy was electrocuted in a natural pool when an electric pump malfunctioned. He was saved by medics Ilan Gur-Ari and Issa Duwaiat.
Israeli Druze leader speaks at UNHRC. The World Jewish Congress hosted Sheikh Moafaq Tarif, spiritual leader of the Druze community in Israel, in Geneva, where he highlighted the coexistence of minorities in Israel as exemplary for the region. The Sheikh also addressed the United Nations Human Rights Council.
Most Arab-Israelis are happy in Israel. (TY Hazel) A survey of 716 Arab-Israelis conducted by Tel Aviv University reported that 71.5% are satisfied with their life in Israel; 65.2% believe they are generally treated equally, and 64.7% have an overall positive view of the state. The survey has only a 3.6% margin of error.
More Palestinian Arabs work in Israel. (TY Hazel) The number of Palestinian Arabs working in Israel has almost doubled in the past five years. The number of permits for employment in Israel had risen 160% since 2012. Waiting times at checkpoints between the territories and Israel have been cut to just a few minutes.
The door to peace. I reported previously (23rd Feb) on the IDF Door to Door project that helps Palestinian Arab businesspeople who want to trade with Israel. Here is a video by I24 News about the project’s success.
World champion sniffer dog. (TY Hazel) Israel Tax Authority’s sniffer dog, Katcha, was crowned world champion at a recent international competition in Russia, beating 16 other canine competitors. Katcha patrols Ben Gurion airport searching for illegal drugs and cash. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bvrkh-YnSt4
Ancient Cornish tin found in Israel. Scientists have determined that tin ingots discovered off the coast of Haifa originated in Cornish tin mines over 7,000 years ago. Tin combines with copper to make a bronze alloy – hence the Bronze Age. The tin ingots were carbon-dated and the only tin mines at the time were in Cornwall.
Eilat coral reefs are robust. I’ve reported several times (see here) over the last six years on the good health of Eilat’s coral reef. Here is a recent Government report. It states that since 2004, there has been a gradual increase in the percentage of medium and large coral colonies, indicating improved coral survival over time.
SACH heals more sick Rwandan children. (TY Nevet) I reported previously (Aug 2018) when Israeli NGO Save a Child’s Heart (SACH) examined 70 sick Rwandan children for flying to Israel for heart surgery. The first 8 children have been healed and are back with their families. The next 8 have now arrived in Israel.
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
Countering IEDs. (TY Atid-EDI) I reported previously (July 2012) on Israel’s Netline and its jamming device to stop Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs). Netline is now going to supply its C-Guard IED jamming system to the IDF. https://www.netlinetech.com/netline-c-guard-ied-jamming-system-for-idf/
Weizmann offers courses to South African students. (TY UWI) Despite South African universities’ boycott of Israeli academic institutions, Israel’s world-class Weizmann Institute has offered University of Cape Town students the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to participate in an invaluable three-month research program.
Hyundai to test Hydrogen trucks in Israel. The Hyundai Motor Company is next year reportedly to conduct an extensive pilot in Israel of hydrogen-fueled trucks. Israel was chosen due to its varied climate, extreme road inclines in the Galilee and the Golan Heights, and long roads in the South. Israel also has a truck testing center.
Startup generates Hydrogen from water. I reported previously (see here) on projects by Israel Technion scientists to extract Hydrogen from water to generate a cheap, non-polluting fuel. Now, their E-TAC (electrochemical thermally activated chemical) technology has been spun off into a new Israeli startup H2Pro.
Prize for water from heat tech. Scientists at Israel’s Technion Institute and in Africa have received the new Mauerberger Foundation prize. Their Phase Exchange Thermoacoustics (PXT) technology creates water from humid air using no added energy. Local heat is converted into an acoustic wave to condense water from the air.
Chickpea-based milk. (TY Jacques) I’ve reported previously (see here) on the chickpea protein products from Israel’s InnovoPro. Now InnovoPro and Netivot-based tofu manufacturer Wyler Farm are launching a chickpea-based milk alternative. It will be a dairy-free alternative to milk from soy, oats, almonds and coconut.
Wide approval for natural crop supplement. (TY Atid-EDI) I reported previously (July 2018) on Rootella mycorrhizal fungi from Israel’s Groundwork BioAg. It improves soil nutrient uptake and boosts crop yield in 90% of all plant species. The Rootella products are now approved in Canada, US, Brazil, Ukraine & Belgium.
Optics & glass for giga speeds and the future. (TY Atid-EDI) I reported previously (Dec 2015) on Israel’s ColorChip and its optical chips for fast transmission of data. 4 years later, its SystemOnGlass technology is moving even faster. ColorChip has also developed a compact projector for smart AR/VR glasses.
As plain as the nose on your face. I reported previously (7th Apr) on Weizmann Professor Noam Sobel’s study that found people who inhaled when presented with a problem-solving task performed better than those who exhaled. The discovery could help people with learning disorders to improve their skills.
Another Israeli anti-drone startup. Israel’s D-Fend has an autonomous counter-drone system that detects, locates and identifies rogue drones. Once identified, D-Fend’s system can take control over the drones and land them safely at a pre-defined zone. D-Fend has just raised $28 million of funds.
ECONOMY & BUSINESS
Filtering water in America. Israel’s Yamit develops and manufactures water purification systems for the industrial, municipal, and agriculture markets. Already selling to the Chinese market, Yamit has just agreed that The Toro Company of Bloomington MN will be its exclusive distributor in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico.
Amazon’s Israeli website is live. Amazon has officially launched its Israeli website. Available only in English, it offers prices in shekels and a “ships locally” option. The Israeli retailers that already joined include cosmetics brand GA-DE, fashion retailers Crazy Line and Adika, Nintendo Israel, and skincare brand Sebocalm.
Convizit wins $1 million. (TY Atid-EDI) Israeli startup Convizit won Pitango Venture Capital’s TRIFECTA early-stage startup competition in New York and its $1 million first prize. Convizit’s Artificial Intelligence captures, names and categorizes every on-line interaction, to provide a company with complete behavioral data.
Bio-degradable packaging continues to grow. (TY Atid-EDI) I’ve reported several times (see here) on Israeli compostable plastic packaging developer TIPA. It has just raised another $25 million of funds to enable TIPA to continue its growth into new territories, and to further develop its portfolio of unique packaging solutions.
Foresight expands into China. (TY Atid-EDI) I reported previously (see here) on Israel’s Foresight and its QuadSight vehicle camera-based vision systems. Wuhan Guide Infrared (a $2.7 billion Chinese company) will promote Foresight’s systems in China and incorporate Guide’s Infrared solutions into QuadSight.
Mars comes even closer to Israel. I reported previously (26th May) on Mars Inc’s partnership with Jerusalem Venture Partners. George Graham, vice president of the Mars Advanced Research Institute (MARI), just visited Israel as part of Mars’ search to find the most crucial breakthrough solutions for the global food system.
CULTURE, ENTERTAINMENT & SPORT
Rosh Hashana in Israel. The Jewish New Year (Rosh Hashanah) begins sundown 29th Sep and ends sundown 1st Oct. Most businesses will be shut, so here is brief guide (spot the flaws) to the festival, its symbols and some local events. https://www.touristisrael.com/rosh-hashana-in-israel/2535/
What elections? (TY Sharon) Life in Jerusalem continues with movies, new buildings, beekeepers meet the President, the Jerusalem Theater festival, music on the plaza and at First Station, Selihot (penitence prayers) services, café life, skateboarders, wedding parties, book launches and the NbN Bonei Zion prize ceremony.
The balloon man. Israeli NGO Ezer Mizion cannot cure cancer, but it can help make young cancer patients happy. It arranges for balloon artist Barak Dagan to twist balloons into fantastic shapes, twisting the saddest face into one of joyful laughter. He revitalizes the youngsters’ spirits, encouraging their bodies to recover.
Israel’s baseball team qualifies for Olympics. Team Israel Baseball is the first Israeli team to reach the Olympics in four decades – one of only six baseball teams to play in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Israel won the Europe / Africa playoffs, beating Spain, Italy, South Africa and the European champions Netherlands.
Gymnast wins six world championship medals. Israeli rhythmic gymnast Linoy Ashram won 6 medals (4 silver and 2 bronze) at the F.I.G. 35th Rhythmic Gymnastics World Championship in Pesaro, Italy. Her achievement qualified her for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Israel’s Nicol Zelikman also qualified for Tokyo.
THE JEWISH STATE
The Zionist origins of Hava Nagila. Where did the song Hava Nagila originate? Manuscripts from musician Abraham Zvi Idelsohn, written around 1920, have just been examined in Cincinnati. It sheds light on its origins from Ukraine to Jerusalem and its connection with Eliezer Ben Yehuda, father of Modern Hebrew.
Outstanding immigrants. Nefesh B’Nefesh awarded its Bonei (Builders of) Zion prize to Hadassah’s Dr. Ora Paltiel (Epidemiology), Leah Abramowitz of Melabev (aging), Michael Dickson (StandWithUs), Dr. Beverly Gribetz (religious girls’ education) and Danny Hakim (Budo for Peace and Kids Kicking Cancer).
Cousins reunited. Simon Phippen (8) fled Romania when the Nazis invaded in WW2. He was smuggled to England. Meanwhile his cousin Morris Sneh (10) escaped to Italy and immigrated to Israel. 75 years later, Simon’s granddaughter found Morris’s daughter on Facebook and Simon and Morris were reunited in Israel.
Explore the story of Israel. Jerusalem U has released 42 of its 54 planned videos about the History of Israel and had some half a million views. It has also launched its media lab “Unpacked for Educators” of videos and resources to help teachers ask the big questions and allow students to find their own unique answers.
The high holidays in Israel. The festivals (“chagim”) in the Jewish month of Tishri in Israel differ to the rest of the world. Everyone is on holiday; meals are celebrations; on Yom Kippur roads only have bicycles; and on Sukkot the national parks are full to capacity. And no-one makes a serious decision until “after the chagim”.
Happy New Year from the US Embassy in Jerusalem. And the freshest honey in the land of milk and honey.
High Holiday humor. (TY Jacob Richman) Includes the largest gefilte fish caught in the wild.