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Often times during the most difficult times in history, when urgency accelerates invention, some of the most helpful technologies have emerged.
In the past few months, we've seen interesting developments that both meet the new norm of social distancing and offer direct healthcare solutions. This year, these Israeli startups rolled up their sleeves in relevant areas and worked on innovations that could benefit millions around the world.
Patient care: the big picture
Several companies are trying to supply a vaccine to help end the pandemic. This process can take several months to become available for mass production. Media headlines and statements from politicians suggest it's tight, but until the FDA ticks the box, it remains to be seen how long it will be before enough people are vaccinated to speed up the herd immunity process significantly.
In the meantime, healthcare providers are focused on diagnosing and managing patient recovery from infection, while authorities look for solutions to minimize contamination. The diagnostic process has so far been quite simple with only two FDA-approved test methods: the PCR test and the antigen test. Both are dependent on the old nasal and throat swab extraction. For the infected, they must be quarantined or, if severe enough, go to the hospital. This is where Zebra Medical Vision comes in, a company that offers an AI solution for medical X-ray imaging.
In May 2020, Zebra Medical Vision received FDA approval for its Covid detection solution. The solution serves three purposes: helping diagnose COVID when traditional testing methods are not available, quantifying the burden of disease in patients, and most importantly, testing severity for resource allocation and disease progression.
The company's product was already integrated into the systems of Apollo hospitals in India at a time when the country was struggling with a massive increase in cases. Zebra Medical Vision also emphasizes that beyond the pandemic, the role of AI will play a pivotal role in managing the backlog in non-COVID medical cases, a time that feels increasingly distant.
Related: 5 Technological Innovations That Are Changing Medical Practice
Eyes in the sky
When we think of drones, we usually conjure up breathtaking aerial shots of landscapes or futuristic drones that serve as urban taxis or deliver us pizza. However, drones were often used as reconnaissance or imaging probes in the sky during military missions as the use of pilots has become more expensive and dangerous. Now they are performing another, more peaceful function, forcing social distancing from above.
During the first peak of the pandemic, when the first social distancing measures were taken by authorities around the world, the need for surveillance was essential. Some authorities used digital contact tracing mechanisms. Israel, whose government worked with OCTOPUS Systems, centralized the cyber command solution to stop the spread of Covid-19 in the crowded, ultra-religious community of Bnei Brak. Another Israeli company is helping track people in the midst of Covid-19.
Instead of looking for contacts to prevent further spread, the Israeli company Airobotics is using automated industrial drone technology to preventively stop the spread of the virus. Airobotics' drone technology, which can use LiDar and photogrammetry for 3D mapping, has worked with Singapore to monitor public gatherings to better educate police and provide them with accurate data to enforce social distancing guidelines. Airobotics drones can pinpoint locations and enlarge areas that may not be visible to police officers on the ground.
The company, which has raised $ 120 million in funding and is investing around $ 100 million in developing the drones, is leasing them for business and industrial purposes in addition to the Singapore government's Home Team Science & Technology Agency (HTX) the US and Israel. .
Related: Examples of Drone Business Ideas
Protection of the cyber portal
As both employees and consumers work and shop remotely due to social constraints, online traffic and cyber attacks are increasing. Microsoft reported in June that US organizations and individuals alone experienced 20,000 to 30,000 cyber attacks with Covid motifs every day. Similarly, Deloitte West Africa's Tope Aladenusi wrote that the company's Cyber Intelligence Center had "seen an increase in phishing, malspam and ransomware attacks," with attackers posing as brands to employees and consumers.
Since employees and consumers may not be prepared to differentiate between phishing and a real request in certain circumstances, Israeli cybersecurity firm Cybint steps in to give them the boost they need to keep them up to date. While it seems logical that they would provide software, the company recognizes that the greatest threat is not in the software features companies use, but rather in people's ability to identify a cyber threat when they encounter one.
Cybint provides training for corporate employees to learn how to detect cyber threats and offers certifications for professionals seeking employment in the cybersecurity industry. Cybint recently entered into a partnership with India's Astraea Solutions, one of the first cyber training partners in Southeast Asia.
The pandemic may force humanity to face challenges that it has not encountered so abruptly, but people's ingenuity for finding creative solutions never stops. In the small country they call Startup Nation, the rivers of innovation flow steadily on. There are no signs of a drought anytime soon.
Related Topics: Cybersecurity Practices That Will Protect Your Small Business