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EzerTech – The Israel Innovation Authority’s Grant for Assistive Technology Startups

Earlier this year, the Israel Innovation Authority opened a new cohort of their Assistive Technology Incentive Program. Approved assistive technology startups will receive up to 900,000 NIS to cover up to 65% of their R&D costs over the course of 12 months. Leading experts at ALYN are collaborating with our innovation partners to support their proposals to this program. Now that the pressure to meet submission deadlines for this program has passed, we’d like to share with you about some of the compelling projects our innovation partners proposed:

Motion analysis can inform doctors and physical therapists how best to proceed with a patient's treatment, sometimes becoming the deciding factor between surgery and other available options. This requires an assessment that lasts several hours and very precise measurement that can only be achieved by using a complex matrix of integrated cameras, 3D scanners, wearable and stationary sensors, force plates, and more. ALYN is well-acquainted with the inherent challenges, as we are home to one of the most sophisticated motion analysis labs in Israel. RightWalk has taken on ALYN as a clinical partner to develop a wearable mobile gait and biofeedback device that can be calibrated to work as a motion analysis lab that can accurately detect and collect data about a patient’s movement when they are out in the community. This allows for ongoing measurements and analysis over time, real-time correction and biofeedback for the patient, and remote assessment - a very important feature for the health and safety of patients, therapists, and doctors alike during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Takaro Tech
Takaro Tech didn’t start off as an assistive technologies company - they launched as a consumer electronics company. They are the creators of QNI, an affordable versatile and portable playground composed of modular multi-touch tiles that serves as a platform for kids to interact with their friends through fitness and games. It’s easy to operate with your smartphone, can be integrated with wearables, and tracks training goals and progress. In response to the recent drastic need for remote therapy solutions, Takaro Tech are partnering with ALYN to adapt their device and games for remote physical and occupational therapy. Therapists will be able to establish personalised treatment plans and implement them remotely for multiple patients with the QNI system at home, from determining each patient’s tailored game library based on treatment goals to adapting the appropriate speed and level of difficulty. With clinical guidance from ALYN, Takaro Tech is developing a library of games for the QNI system that implements therapeutic exercises. By combining cutting-edge AI and data analytics with their platform, children can play their way to rehabilitation from anywhere.

Wheelchairs of Hope
Wheelchairs of Hope has a history of success with ALYNnovation, having successfully developed a light-weight, durable wheelchair that is easy to assemble and costs less than $100. Currently, millions of children with disabilities living in developing countries don’t have access to a wheelchair that is suitable to their needs. These children are unable to attend school or participate in other activities involving mobility and independence. The main causes of this phenomenon can be traced to three main sources: most traditional wheelchairs are ill-suited for the terrain in the environment, mechanical challenges such as complicated assembly or inadequate fitting, and the relatively high cost of purchasing a wheelchair for families living in poverty. Families with a member with disabilities already have to spend significantly more money on healthcare, meaning that these children who would most benefit from a wheelchair are the least likely to be able to attain one. This severely limits opportunities for children with mobility impairments to escape the cycle of poverty. Wheelchairs of Hope has already improved the lives and futures of over 10,000 children worldwide, and is currently co-developing a second generation with ALYN that will accommodate more complex conditions with improved head support and reclining options to help a wider range of children with disabilities.

NBEL, who are developing a wheelchair-mounted robotic arm based on neuromorphic computing, have also submitted a proposal to add machine vision features to the robotic arm with support from ALYN experts. A detailed review of this amazing project is included in this issue, and can be found here.

Registration for the program has ended, and we wish the best of luck to all our participants.

EzerTech – The Israel Innovation Authority’s Grant for Assistive Technology Startups