ALYN innovation center targets assistive-tech market

Impact investing, including in assistive technologies, has rapidly increased in recent years, soaring from $50 billion at the start of the decade to an estimated $200 billion by 2020.

December 13, 2018 14:19
1 minute read.
A young patient at Jerusalem's ALYN Hospital

A young patient at Jerusalem's ALYN Hospital. (photo credit: ALYN HOSPITAL)


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ALYNnovation, a unique venture for innovating assistive technology at Jerusalem’s ALYN Hospital for Pediatric and Adolescent Rehabilitation Center, has ambitious plans for bringing Israeli solutions to the world’s attention.

Launched two years ago and headed by director Danna Hochstein Mann, the innovation center signed an agreement this week with Virginia-based RAZ Mobility to distribute Israeli assistive technology innovations to millions of Americans with disabilities.

“Everyone has their eyes on the US health care market, but it is difficult to penetrate and one of the primary obstacles is the health care coverage system,” Mann told The Jerusalem Post.

RAZ Mobility works with American State Equipment Distribution programs, government agencies and consumers to offer the latest mobile assistive technologies. Today, some 45 US states operate programs granting citizens significant subsidies and even free access to innovative assistive devices.

Impact investing, including in assistive technologies, has rapidly increased in recent years, soaring from $50 billion at the start of the decade to an estimated $200 billion by 2020.

Next week, RAZ Mobility CEO Robert Felgar will arrive in Israel to participate in ALYNnovation’s Inspired Innovation conference, where he will meet with representatives of Israeli start-ups in order to identify those most suitable to participate in the US government’s programs.

“I have already identified a number of technologies that could be of great potential for RAZ,” said Mann. “They are looking for specific types of technology and the companies have to be ready for market.”

RAZ Mobility will also provide US market insights to ALYNnovation, enabling Israeli start-ups to understand the technologies and applications sought by the American market, while still enjoying the advantages of direct access to ALYN Hospital’s expert staff, complex medical cases and its ethics committee.

“I think this a great opportunity for the entire industry of assistive technology in Israel. We’re an emerging industry. We need the recognition, and something like this could bring it most,” Mann said.

“We remain grateful to the Ministry of Jerusalem and Heritage and the Jerusalem Development Authority that funded us at the beginning. I am a big advocate for all that they have done to promote this industry. Having innovation in the city means that Jerusalem will become a capital in this sector.”

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