Preterm birth (PTB), delivery at 24 to 37 weeks of pregnancy, is the most common, catastrophic, and costly complication of pregnancy. 1 in 10 babies is born prematurely. This amounts to 15 million babies worldwide, and one million will not survive because of being born preemies. PTB is the leading cause of global neonatal morbidity and up to 50% of neurological impairments in children younger than five. Babies born prematurely pose a substantial financial burden to healthcare systems and society. Treating a preterm newborn is ten times that of a baby born at term. Costs associated with PTB surpass $25 billion annually in the U.S. alone. Delaying PTB by one week will improve outcomes and reduce expenses by ~25%. Treatments such as hormones, medications, stitching the cervix (cerclage), and pessaries are unsatisfactory, so the rates of PTB have not changed for decades.
PregnanTech is developing LIONESSTM, a non-surgical, safe, and efficient device for delaying preterm birth. LIONESS is a smartly structured silicone ring placed with designated application tools by the doctor as an outpatient procedure that takes only a few minutes. It maintains its position high around the uterine cervix (at the site of the Shirodkar cerclage) despite pressure and contractions, avoids cervical dilatation, reduces load, keeps the cervix elongated, and delays the biomechanical cascade leading to PTB. LIONESS is easily removed when reaching term and has a self-release mechanism in active labour.
LIONESS was successfully tested in a first in women (FIW) clinical safety & usability study with promising results that attest to the great potential of the device. PregnanTech has now initiated a clinical study among pregnant women at risk with either a history of PTB or twin pregnancies. The study is conducted at the two leading medical sites in Israel – Sheba Tel-Hashomer Medical Center and Hadassah University Hospital in Jerusalem.
PregnanTech was founded by Dr. David Shashar (CEO) and Avi Tsur (CSO) in 2017. Their team is comprised of experienced physicians, medical device specialists, and clinical, regulatory, and business development experts. PregnanTech's round A fundraising is planned for the second half of 2022.
Fetal vitality is a leading concern for pregnant women and their healthcare providers, leading to maternal anxiety and a high frequency of unscheduled emergency room and potentially avoidable clinic visits. Moreover, with reduced in-person visits becoming more of the norm, especially in high-risk cases and during the last term of pregnancy, new remote ultrasound solutions are high in demand. Pulsenmore has developed a novel self-operated ultrasound technology that enables patients to self-scan by connecting their smartphone to an ultrasound cradle. Scans are then automatically sent for remote clinical assessment by healthcare providers. This paternal care product consists of a handheld, affordable, ultrasound cradle that docks with the user’s personal smartphone, a patient app that guides the patient on how to perform the scan, a web application for scans reviewed by the provider, and a software API enabling integration of online services with the hospital. When a scan is performed (by prescription), it is relayed to the physician either in real-time or asynchronously for review, interpretation, and feedback.
These days, the company is working on a new mobile vaginal ultrasound device for personal use at home. The new follicular tracking ultrasound device, Pulsenmore FC, will enable fertility patients to perform ultrasound scans at home, which are then viewed and assessed remotely by their healthcare professionals. Since the standard IVF procedure requires numerous ultrasound scans – sometimes daily – for the assessment of follicle size and endometrial thickness, which are critical parameters in determining optimal timing for retrieving eggs for fertilization, the Pulsenmore FC solution may reduce women's stress, increase compliance, and improve women’s life-quality during their fertility journey.
The company was founded in 2014 by Dr. Elazar Sonnenschein who over the years had been researching innovative applications for ultrasounds that could positively impact healthcare everywhere. But the beginning of Pulsenmore was triggered by a call from a relative of his who was in the advanced stages of pregnancy. She hadn’t felt her baby moving for a while and wanted his advice. She was anxious and needed immediate monitoring to check the baby’s condition. So, Elazar started asking himself why ultrasound couldn’t be turned into a home monitoring device to help mothers everywhere connect with healthcare providers who could review their scans remotely. With his background and experience in ultrasound technology, he began modifying traditional ultrasound systems, reinventing almost every aspect of them. The goal was to develop an ultrasound probe that is inexpensive but enables high-quality imaging, with simple yet effective signal processing, and of course easy to use by patients at home.
Women across the developed world are increasingly delaying childbirth into the later stages of their childbearing years. This makes having children difficult, and the number of women needing and seeking fertility treatment is growing steadily. Yet, fertility treatments require lots of drugs, money, and time. In vitro fertilization (IVF) treatments can last several cycles and cost tens of thousands of dollars. More importantly, they take a significant emotional and physical toll on women undergoing these treatments.
Embryonics is seeking to transform the fertility business by leveraging proprietary data and algorithms based on artificial intelligence to help fertility doctors make better decisions. Their technology is meant to help doctors prescribe the correct stimulating hormones, select the embryos with the best chance of implantation (a crucial step in the IVF process), and rule out embryos with genetic abnormalities, for patients to have more babies from fewer cycles. This makes fertility treatment less expensive, faster, and less burdensome. Embryonics AI tools improve success rates by almost 50%.
Embryonics was founded in 2018 by Yael Gold-Zamir (CMO), M.D. and IVF researcher. It is based in Haifa and currently employs 14 people. To date, Embryonics has raised $5 million in seed funding led by the Shusterman Family Investment office and additional funds from the Israeli Innovation Authority. The company has also recently onboarded 7 leading clinics across the U.S. to assist them with the development of new products.
Tempdrop is the world’s first wearable fertility monitor, advancing women’s reproductive health throughout every stage. Tempdrop is therefore empowering and equipping women with the knowledge to take control of their bodies. With their science-based, smart wearable sensor and charting app comb, Tempdrop is an all-in-one, hassle-free, fertility monitor to better track your cycle–simply wear the sensor on your upper arm during sleep and sync with the app whenever it's convenient. Tempdrop's unique patented algorithm learns and pinpoints every woman's personal nightly and monthly patterns allowing her to accurately identify her fertile window and is specially tailored to women that are looking to increase their chances of conceiving. It’s also very helpful for women that are interested in tracking their hormonal health. With the help of personalized data, Tempdrop has provided tens of thousands of women across the globe with the tool to better know their bodies and better their chances of conceiving.
Tempdrop was founded by Michael Vardi, a biomedical engineer, after he and his wife were struggling to conceive their second child. He was determined to find a better way to track the ovulation cycle and pinpoint the optimal time for conception. Since its inception in 2017, Tempdrop has bootstrapped its way, and is sold directly to consumer. The company is growing organically, by building its vibrant community of followers and promoters in the U.S. and Europe.
Salignostics developed SaliStick™, a pregnancy home test which detects early pregnancy by saliva sampling unlike the urine tests on the market. With SaliStick, women are not obligated to visit the bathroom before testing, the test can be done anywhere, anytime, at any convenience; it has therefore improved user experience. The test is very simple and provides an anesthetic procedure. SaliStick is the world's only pregnancy home test based on saliva, and it is based on more than 15 years of R&D. The product was approved by both CE and the Israel Ministry of Health. Salignostics is expecting to start marketing this product in the coming few months.
Jerusalem-based, Salignostics was founded in 2016 by a team of researchers at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, who had many years of experience in cracking the secrets of saliva: Professor Aaron Palmon, Dr. Omer Deutsch (CEO), Dr. Guy Krief (Deputy CEO and Director of Business Development), Dr. Raluca Cohen (Chief Scientific Officer) and Dr. Yoav Neumann (Senior Researcher). Following years of scientific research in saliva, the five founders began commercializing their intellectual property and developed user-friendly products to accurately detect a range of physiological conditions including pregnancy based on simple saliva samples. During the development of the tests, the company raised pre-seed and seed capital from private investors and received four grants from the Israel Innovation Authority, which brought their total to$16 million.
Advances in fertility treatments have brought more than nine million children into the world in the last forty years, however, the technology and processes are outdated, and clinics are not able to keep up with the soaring demand by individuals seeking assisted reproductive options for their family building. AiVF has developed the Embryology Management Assistant, or EMA™, a software platform for fertility clinics to add data-driven AI capabilities to their patient care. Today, EMA is operational in IVF clinics in Europe augmenting the embryologist in accurately and objectively assessing embryo quality, faster than any human expert. The company, together with leading academic partners has published research demonstrating EMA’s ability to distinguish between embryos which look similar, with extremely high accuracy and to automatically identify and measure predictive indicators of implantation success. The proprietary AI model was trained on 100 million embryo images from clinics around the world. In the clinic, EMA evaluates more information than the naked eye, processes data faster than an embryologist and brings a new level of standardization to a new generation of fertility clinics.
AiVF was founded in 2018, by Daniella Gilboa and Prof Daniel Seidman, Reproductive Medicine experts experienced with the real challenges of the IVF journey. Today, Gilboa is the CEO and Seidman is the Chief Medical Officer. The multidisciplinary team of physicians, embryologists, data scientists and experts in computer vision, machine learning and AI, as well as experienced sales, marketing, and product development teams, are located in Tel Aviv. At the end of 2021, the company closed their Seed Round, led by WeWork co-founder Adam Neumann’s Family Office, 166 2nd.
Embie, a fertility treatment app, is an AI-based platform empowering women to take control of their infertility care with personalized tools, actionable insights, and support. Using its unique, holistic, and global dataset, Embie is expanding its end-to-end solution to give those struggling to conceive and in need of medical intervention, tools to predict diagnosis probability, protocol, and treatment success rates at scale.
Embie's Co-Founder, Ravid Israel, underwent 8 IVF retrievals to conceive her son. While undergoing treatments she realized that most fertility trackers focused on natural conception, leaving the 1 in 5 couples requiring medical treatment to conceive, without an app to turn to for their complex journey. And so, the ideal for Embie was born.
Embie is Based in Tel Aviv and was released on the app store in late October 2020. Until now, they have established themselves solely from bootstrapping, and are currently raising a pre-seed round. Over 50 physicians and fertility experts have contributed content to Embie's platform, and the app has over 27 000 registered users from 120 Countries around the world. They are currently helping women track over 22 000 Treatment Cycles, 56 000 Eggs and 25 000 Embryos.