International Women’s Day 2021: These Up-and-Coming Israeli Women Entrepreneurs Combat COVID-19 with Innovative Technologies

By Einat Paz-Frankel, Start-Up Nation Central

The tech sector that has the highest rate of women entrepreneurs in Israel is digital health (17%), according to Start-Up Nation Central data; and while we’re still far from equality, female leaders have been on the frontlines of the fight against coronavirus – diagnosing, treating, vaccinating, and saving lives – while giving the world much-needed hope.

“2020 was the best year ever for the global digital health industry,” says Lena Rogovin​, Senior Digital Health Analyst and Sector Lead at Start-Up Nation Central. “The agility of the Israeli companies in this sector – including those led by women entrepreneurs – is truly impressive, as they’ve adapted their solutions or developed new technologies to address the rapidly emerging needs of the global healthcare industry in a time of pandemic.”

While some Israeli women entrepreneurs made the headlines with their groundbreaking technologies – for example, Dr. Kira Radinsky’s AI-based medical triage platform Diagnostic Robotics, which uses already discovered patterns to predict the virus spread – International Women’s Day gives us a reason to highlight up-and-coming* tech entrepreneurs.

Ruth Polachek: Testing the world for coronavirus

Ruth Polachek, cofounder and CEO of Israeli startup LessTests, is the woman behind the technology that allows masses of people around the world to test for COVID-19. The budding startup – cofounded last year by Polachek and Tsvika Vagman – dramatically increases coronavirus testing capacity by pooling samples.

The company’s software solutions allow virology laboratories to analyze and optimize their COVID-19 diagnostic throughput and protocols. Its multi-variant algorithms offer dynamically optimized diagnostic efficiency models based on pandemic variables and other factors. According to LessTests, its COVID-19 single-step group testing solution offers between 2x to 12x improvement on diagnostics test throughput, thus helping communities and economies return to normal faster.

She Codes’ training program for girls

Chairwoman and founder of ‘she codes’ – a community of women in technology designed to empower women to integrate into and advance in Israel’s high-tech sector – Polachek has been awarded multiple accolades for her contribution to the tech world, and specifically to women in this field, including by Forbes Israel and other media outlets in Israel and abroad.

Hillary Harel: Prioritizing medical procedures’ waiting lists, which reach epic proportions during a pandemic

Led by CEO and cofounder Hillary (Orly) Harel, Serenus.AI is an innovative AI-based platform, developed to empower patients and medical professionals at critical post-diagnostic crossroads, providing the right treatment to the right patient, fast. The solution efficiently prioritizes patients on waiting lists, as well as referrals for medical procedures, reducing exhaustion of key frontline staff (critical in times of a pandemic), while saving lives and valuable resources. 

Hillary Harel

Winner of the 2020 European Women in Tech Award and the 2020 MTL Tech Awards, Harel is a serial impact entrepreneur who has led technological startups and nonprofit organizations. She cofounded Serenus with Prof. Josef Elidan and Dan Berachowitz in 2017.

Ruth Poliakine Baruchi: Using voice analytics to screen COVID-19 patients

MyndYou, led by cofounder and CEO Ruth Poliakine Baruchi, has developed AI-based technologies that use unique passive voice analytics and remote engagement tools to enable care providers to effectively screen for COVID-19 in their communities, and combat the effects of social isolation in older adults. By leveraging voice and activity data, MyndYou’s predictive algorithm can detect changes associated with chronic conditions, hospitalization risk, mental health, and more. The company has developed an AI-based voice bot called MyEleanor, which is used for COVID-19 screening; it asks the elderly about symptoms such as shortness of breath, follows up with them, and ultimately alerts a human caregiver.

Ruth Poliakine Baruchi

Baruchi has nearly two decades of experience as an entrepreneur in the healthcare sector, including in the fields of medical devices, digital health, and wearable tech.

Galit Zuckerman: Monitoring for mechanically ventilated COVID-19 patients

Medasense’s technology monitors mechanically ventilated COVID-19 patients via its non-invasive sensor platform. Powered by AI technology, the system quantifies patients’ physiological response to pain, which helps clinicians to optimize analgesia treatment for sedated ventilated patients, thus minimizing harm associated with inadequate analgesia, and avoiding overmedication.

Medasense Biometrics was founded by CEO Galit Zuckerman, who has over 20 years of entrepreneurship, management and engineering experience in startups and corporations.

Zwickel and Meiri: Patient prioritization for hospitals

Cofounded by two women – CEO Michal Meiri and COO Rotem Lev-ZwickelAgamon helps healthcare organizations deal with COVID-19 by prioritizing non-coronavirus patients based on their medical history and demographics.

Founded in 2018, Agamon’s AI-based solution uses advanced algorithms to glean and structure data from clinical reports, and provide critical insights. The company is already working with hospitals in the U.S. and elsewhere.

*Are you a female entrepreneur in the field of digital health? Let us know.

Photos: Shutterstock, MyndYou, She Codes, Serenus.AI

To explore cutting-edge Israeli technologies for the “New Normal,” visit the Start-Up Nation Finder.

Read more about us