EMDT_European Medical Device Technology

European Medical Device Technology, Spring 2015

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24 | Spring 2015 European Medical Device Technology emdt.co.uk markets The Israeli Start-Up Ecosystem: Advanced Technology, Chutzpah, and the Military Hardly any country yields as many exciting medtech start-ups as Israel. EMDT explores the 'Start-Up Nation's' success formula. A fter an accident in 1997 left him a quadriplegic, scientist Amit Goffer refused to accept the fact that, at the end of the 20th century, there were no alternative solutions to a wheelchair avail- able. Driven by that personal and poten- tial patient demand, the Israeli engineer began working on a robotic exoskeleton with powered leg attachments designed to help paralysed patients to stand upright and walk again. He founded the start-up ReWalk to bring his device to market, and in June 2014, the company obtained FDA clearance for the device; in September, the company went public on NASDAQ, rais- ing $36 million. The origin of ReWalk is one of many success stories illustrating how Israeli start-up companies have applied cutting- edge technologies to medical problems. But there are many more: The Technion Institute of Technology developed the nanotechnology device NaNose to detect different types of cancer from a patient's breath with up to 95% accuracy, for example. The start-up IceCure, on the other hand, devised a method for freez- ing small tumors that eliminates the need for surgery. And Real View's technology projects 3-D ultrasound holograms above patients in the surgical theater to guide physicians during operations. The list goes on. Over the last few decades, Israel has earned the title of 'start-up nation,' thanks to its staggering statistic of spawning one new company for every 1,800 people—by far the highest rate in the world. Accord- ing to the consultancy Deloitte, almost 1,000 start-ups are launched every year in the country. At first glance, it is not easy to understand how a country with a tiny

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