by: Janet Aslin, Bridges for Peace
Modern medicine has an array of tools that aid the diagnostic process. None have possibly been more valuable than the X-ray machine. Discovered in 1895 by a German physicist, X-rays allow doctors to see beyond the body’s outer covering of skin and get a clearer understanding of what is happening within. This allows a head start for treatment, which often saves lives. Sadly, two-thirds of the world’s population are unable to benefit from early detection of disease, such as cancer, because the current analog technology is expensive and not widely available outside of the world’s wealthier countries.
All that is about to change dramatically. Nanox, an Israeli company, has developed a digital system that can perform multiple types of imaging at a much lower cost than the US $1–3 million price tag for the current analog machines. Its accompanying cloud-based software will not only store the images but allow them to be read by health care professionals anywhere on the globe.
Combining Israeli ingenuity, improvisation and problem-solving skills with Japanese technical precision and punctuality, 60 Nanox employees of both nationalities are working in Neve Ilan—a suburb of Jerusalem—and Tokyo. They have already seen a prototype of the system tested at Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem and will seek regulatory approval in several countries this year.
The ultimate goal of Ran Poliakine, Nanox founder and CEO, and his team is an initiative for preventative health care—for each person on the planet to have at least one medical screening once a year. According to the World Health Organization, such screenings have the potential to save millions of lives from cancer-related deaths alone each year. The company is planning to have 15,000 systems in place by the end of 2022.
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