We are now deep in the COVID-19 pandemic situation. Many people have lost their jobs, many have to work from home, and there is a general economic slowdown. However, the economy shall boost up and innovation will have an important part pushing it forward.
In this post, I share with you information about 3 interesting companies that we have come across and liked. Although each one addresses a completely different area, the common denominator is that each of them supports a better, more sustainable future, and brings meaning to the concept that “We All Share the Same Sky and Ocean”.
EyeControl (https://www.eyecontrol.co.il/) is an Israeli company that addresses a special segment of the healthcare market. Their mission is to give any ventilated or “locked in” patients the ability to communicate again.
Their product, EyeControl, is the first wearable and screen-less assistive communication device. This AI-based eye tracking technology enables locked-in individuals, such as those suffering from ALS, brain injury or stroke, as well as ventilated patients, to communicate solely using eye movements.
The EyeControl device has two main markets: (1) Home Use: Permanently locked-in patients with conditions such as ALS/MND, stroke and traumatic brain injury and (2) Facilities: Ventilated patients within ICU/rehabilitation/LTAC
The company has successfully qualified for CE marking, FDA listing and is ISO 13485 certified. EyeControl devices are recognized for reimbursement in Israel, the UK and the US. The products have been approved for full reimbursement by the NHS and by the Israeli “Homebasket” and are currently sold in the Home Care segment..
Recently, the COVID-19 pandemic crisis has caused a number of medical facilities to reach out to the company. The crisis creates the risk of oversaturating health care systems globally; authorities are urgently seeking innovative communication solutions for their ventilated patients to enhance the accuracy of care, decrease recovery time, and speed-up patient turnover.
The EyeControl solution can effectively improve the conditions of ICU patients while enabling remote communication and reducing the person to person viral exposure.
We hope that using the EyeControl solution will help to improve the level of care, comfort of the patient and most importantly, reduce some of the huge burden currently placed on medical professionals in hospitals
Hilico Ltd. (https://www.hilico.com/). Around the world, 2.1 billion people lack access to clean, safe water. Contaminated water can transmit diseases such as diarrhea, cholera, dysentery, typhoid, and polio. Contaminated drinking water is estimated to cause over 500,000 deaths from diarrhea annually. There are massive gaps between (sometimes even within) countries, and between the richest and the poorest. Global organizations estimate that poor people spend up to 50% of their income on low/medium quality water, especially where there is no infrastructure.
Hilico’s vision is to provide good quality water to poor areas by enabling each family to harvest rain water to cover their needs – free of cost. Their solution is designed to sustainably provide clean drinking water to off-grid communities and disaster-relief areas worldwide.
Hilico designed the world’s first portable rain-harvesting device. It is lightweight and very affordable, simple to install and suitable for any neighborhood, including the least privileged ones. The device folds into a small backpack and requires no pre-existing infrastructure.
Hilico was established in 2018 and it is the only Israeli company among 17 companies selected by the World Bank and the Wharton School for their 2019 “Ideas for Action” competition. It was also a finalist of a competition of the Israeli social entrepreneurs VC fund of Chivas Regal, the whisky distillery). Hilico’s product is now ready to go commercial.
WSENSE S.r.l. (https://wsense.it/) is a private company, with headquarters in Rome, Italy and branches in the UK and in Norway. There’s no doubt that small businesses will take the hardest hit from the current COVID-19 pandemic. The bigger businesses have a better chance of surviving. Small businesses tend to live only with a few months of cash flow (at most), so when something as significant as this hits, it can be devastating not only for the small business owners, but also for the employees they support.
In spite of the current challenging situation, WSense, a rapidly growing company, is charging forward, confident that their patented core technology, the IoUT (the Internet of Underwater Things) is a “game changer”, allowing us to imagine and shape a different, better and sustainable future.
WSense is confident that its IoUT technology is going to be the core enabling technology for a novel generation of Blue Economy systems and applications, as well as provide the missing ingredient to boost the Blue Economy sectors, one of the fastest growing sectors.
Through secure and adaptive underwater wireless mesh networks, WSense IoUT solutions allow divers and underwater devices (sensors, robots, actuators) to be wirelessly connected and cooperate. WSENSE has protected its technology, and has registered international patents on how to build effective underwater wireless networks.
IoUT technology allows operators to remotely control and make real-time decisions related to underwater robots, plants and infrastructures with only the tips of their fingers, regardless of the operator’s physical location.
Naturally, the obvious major applications are expected to be in the Oil & Gas and defense sectors. Yet, there are other, equally vital applications that support our future sustainability. These include responsibly growing our food underwater to support mankind population growth, as well as balancing between the need to exploit our natural resources and to respect and protect the natural habitat of many species.
In two years WSense has grown from 0 to over 25 employees, applying its solutions to different sectors (defense and energy, intensive aquaculture, environmental monitoring, monitoring and surveillance of marine parks and underwater cultural heritage). Naturally, as an innovation hub, Israel hosted one of the first uses of WSense’s “underwater Wi-Fi and underwater WhatsApp” solutions in 2018 by archaeologists of the Israel Antiquities Authority operating in the underwater site of Caesarea, proving that their technology works!
Sources for some of the information above include publications by global health organizations and agencies. Each of the above companies can provide the links to references relevant to it.