Two Israeli startups, iFeel Labs and Neomatix, won international competitions this month.

iFeel Labs was recognized as the most revolutionary healthcare startup of 2016, beating out 80 other startups from 22 countries for first prize in the World Health Summit Startup Track in Berlin on October 10.

The iFeel mobile app (currently available for Androidwith iOS coming soon) and wearable pulse sensor for people with asthma transforms popular mobile games like Candy Crush into biosense games that guide the user to learn a specialized technique for optimized breathing to improve lung function and thus reduce asthma symptoms. Players progress in the game when they are breathing properly.

Based in Yavne, iFeel Labs was established this year, “although we are working on the solution since 2015,” says CEO Elad Fein, an award-winning Technion-Israel Institute of Technology graduate who formerly headed the HR knowledge management unit of the Israel Defense Forces, managed companies providing information technology solutions to academic institutions and private enterprises, and led international projects for IBM Research, Israel.

“With its focus on asthma, iFeel Labs takes a revolutionary approach to one of the biggest global health problems today,” commented German Minister of Health Hermann Gröhe, who presented the award. “It combines medical insight with computational expertise. Most importantly it manages the actual cause of asthma, maladaptation to stress, rather than just masking symptoms.”

Gröhe noted that with more than 300 million asthma sufferers worldwide, “iFeel Labs has the potential to make a major impact on one of the most common debilitating chronic diseases today through respiratory digital therapy. By combining popular games on mobile devices and an ISO/FDA/CE approved oximeter to optimize the way asthma patients breathe while they’re having fun, the company is creating a playful tool for a chronic disease. What a great idea.”

iFeel makes an app and wearable oximeter to turn asthma management into a game. Photo: courtesy
iFeel makes an app and wearable oximeter to turn asthma management into a game. Photo: courtesy

Tel Aviv-based Neomatix, specializing in computer vision and big-data analytics for monitoring the condition of tires on trucking fleets, won first prize among 219 mobility startups from 36 countries competing in the Shell Bright Energy Ideas Challenge in The Hague, Netherlands, on October 5.

Geert van de Wouw, managing director of Shell Technology Ventures, said Neomatix was selected for its potential effect on sustainability and road safety. The company’s first customer is Braspress Transportes Urgentes (BTU), one of Brazil’s leading parcel-delivery companies.

“Fleets waste billions of dollars every year due to tire negligence, which affects roads safety as well as environmental issues,” explained Kfir Wittmann, founder and CEO of Neomatix.

The company has raised $3 million from the Tel Aviv Angel Group and the Brazilian fleet management company SmartDrive; and is an alumnus of Coca-Cola’s commercialization program The Bridgeaddressing the supply-chain challenges of the popular beverage company.