This week’s health tech update examines the latest hi-tech stem cell research, and another early detection technique that’s far from hi-tech (per se) but very effective. The question is whether you can get used to having a small camera in your toilet bowl!
Senecio of Kfar Saba put a twist on an existing mosquito-control method of releasing sterile male mosquitoes in infested areas by using airplanes rather than vans, greatly increasing the coverage perimeters.
“Releasing millions of sterile male mosquitoes from airplanes traveling at 250 kilometers per hour, in what I call Operation Infinite Romeo, presents monumental challenges,” writes Wanetick.
Among these challenges are sourcing the fragile insects, packaging them in containers, estimating the number needed per acre (four sterile males for every wild female) and determining optimal flying routes and times of day for release. “Senecio has developed sophisticated algorithms and robotic processes set up in assembly‐line formation” to accomplish these tasks.
Netanya‐based BioGenCell is developing a stem-cell therapy to treat a painful vascular disease called critical limb ischemia, a leading cause of amputations. The company’s BGC101 compound, when mixed with the patient’s own stem cells taken from a simple blood draw, creates natural artery bypasses and enhances the formation of additional blood vessels to better supply blood to the damaged tissue.
While other biotech companies are pursuing cures for the same disease using stem cells from bone marrow, BioGenCell’s method is less invasive. When injected, the BGC101 formula “knows” to grow only where revascularization is needed.
OutSense, based on Kibbutz Nahsholim, is developing a device that clips onto a toilet bowl to facilitate frequent and hands-free screening for signs of colorectal cancer.
The device’s spectral isolation and imaging technologies rapidly analyze solid waste for indicators including blood content, microbiome stability, texture and color that could be warning signs for cancer, irritable bowel syndrome, colitis or Crohn’s disease. The smart device can even distinguish among different people in a household based on Bluetooth signals from their nearby devices.
“Such frequent screenings should be at least as successful in detecting digestive diseases as submitting to expensive and invasive colonoscopies once every decade,” writes Wanetick.