Naama Barak
December 6, 2023

An innovative heat patch developed in Israel to mitigate body heat loss in trauma, shock and hypothermia patients is now being tried out in the Gaza war, with advanced prototypes of the technology being sent out to doctors treating soldiers in elite military units. 

Rescue Heat is made of a smart material that adheres to the body and contains a patented heating element that is activated once shaken and exposed to air. The patch then warms up to a temperature of up to 107°F, which helps raise body temperature to a healthy 98°F.

“In cases of trauma, such as injury on the battlefield, the body may experience shock and lose heat for many different reasons, such as the blood loss itself, the inability to maintain body temperature by constricting peripheral blood vessels, and sometimes also just by lying on cold ground,” explains Rescue Heat’s medical adviser, Dr. Amit Lehav, director the pediatric anesthesia unit at Rambam Health Care Campus in Haifa and a military physician now serving in Gaza.

“Once the body temperature drops below 95°F, the body enter a state of stress, and the different body systems stop working properly,” he adds. “In terms of injury and bleeding, the main danger in these situations is that hypothermia impairs blood clotting, which can result in the bleeding not stopping and increased danger to life.”

Rescue Heat’s prototype patches are being tested on wounded soldiers. Photo courtesy of Rambam Health Care Campus
Rescue Heat’s prototype patches are being tested on wounded soldiers. Photo courtesy of Rambam Health Care Campus

Currently, patient rewarming methods include passive methods such as insulation to prevent further heat loss, or active ones such as external heat sources or heated blankets or bags. These can be inefficient or unsafe.

Rescue Heat’s solution, its developers maintain, promises efficient and fast heat delivery due to the patch’s direct contact with the skin, enabling to reach the required temperature within 20 minutes, and is safe thanks to an upper temperature limiter. 

In addition, they note, the patch is portable, easy to use, inexpensive and has a high heat capacity that supports up around eight hours of use.

The Rescue Heat patch is now at an advanced prototype stage. Prototypes were distributed unofficially, through Lehav, for feedback among army doctors serving in Gaza. This feedback will be taken into consideration in the final development stages.

“We conducted experiments ourselves, and now these doctors are checking it out,” Rescue Heat cofounder Adi Shalev tells ISRAEL21c. 

“We’re under a lot of pressure now, because these doctors are saying that the product is great and that we need to hurry up and receive regulatory approval so that they can use it.”

Following publicity in the Israeli media, the company has also received inquiries from rescue units abroad, says Shalev. 

Within the next quarter of the year, Rescue Heat anticipates receiving regulatory approval in Europe, the United States or Israel. 

The company is now raising money and looking to enter two main markets: rescue and treatment of the wounded in the field before they reach the hospital; and warming of pre- and post-operative hospital patients to avoid temperature-related clotting issues.

More on Innovation

Fighting for Israel's truth

We cover what makes life in Israel so special — it's people. A non-profit organization, ISRAEL21c's team of journalists are committed to telling stories that humanize Israelis and show their positive impact on our world. You can bring these stories to life by making a donation of $6/month. 

Jason Harris

Jason Harris

Executive Director

More on Gaza conflict