A girl in a wheelchair at Alyn Pediatric and Adolescent Rehabilitation Hospital in Jerusalem pulled some ropes and knocked down wood partitions to reveal a magnificent view of the hills to the south and west.
In a few months, the hospital’s ALYN novation Center will become a place, unique in the world, for the development of products that will make life easier for physically disabled children – and for adults with stroke or Parkinson’s damage.The hospital, in the capital’s Kiryat Hayovel neighborhood, has customized equipment for its young patients for years, especially with lightweight, comfortable and inexpensive plastic wheelchairs and inserts for people who spend most of their lives in them. After assembling a group of engineers and volunteers who produced devices based on specific requests from children, Alyn is now setting up the center, which will be housed in 500 square meters of a now rundown lower floor that presently serves no purpose, Dr. Maurit Be’eri, director-general of the 80-year-old hospital, said on Tuesday.Among the devices already invented at Alyn is a system that allows a child to “call” for his wheelchair like a pet dog and to move it to another location. A second innovation is a device that enables a severely disabled child to put on tefillin, or phylacteries. A third is an insert on an iPad that makes it possible for disabled children to access websites and applications.Anyone with the necessary skills who wants to volunteer can write to Hillel Borel at email@example.com.The center will have 3D printers and a variety of other biomechanical and other equipment to create advanced-technology products for the children. Entrepreneurs who are shown the prototypes will be expected to take it from there and manufacture the products for disabled people around the world.There are approximately a billion disabled people in the world, including 90 million disabled children abroad and 100,000 in Israel. Many of them are expected to benefit from the products that sprout in the Jerusalem hospital.
ALYN Innovation Space (credit: ALYN Hospital"s Youtube)