Last month, ISRAEL21c reported that two Israeli startups – RespiDX and NanoVation GS — won seed grants from Grand Challenges Israel for their product ideas for diagnosing childhood pneumonia in low-resource regions.
We recently received word from RespiDX that our coverage proved critical in promoting its concept to key organizations and corporations working to reduce childhood deaths from pneumonia in developing countries.
“The article ISRAEL21c wrote describing our Respimometer project has been very helpful to us, and was used by Grand Challenges Canada to create connections for us to the relevant UN bodies, UNICEF, and a range of potential industrial partners,” says Ian Solomon, VP business development for the Profile Group of Companies in Jerusalem.
“Following this, the company we established for this project, RespiDx Ltd., is already in discussions with several of these bodies, so the article has been most useful.”
He adds that ISRAEL21c’s article was the only one circulated to potential partners by Grand Challenges Canada, and that it came to their attention from an outside source.
Respimometer is envisioned as a cross between a pacifier and a digital oral thermometer. The mouth stop just under the child’s nose would be embedded with sensors to measure breathing as a way of detecting pneumonia immediately.
“We filed a patent and now we’re looking to use the grant to make a prototype and test it against existing means of measuring respiration rate to prove it’s good enough to be out in the market,” Solomon told ISRAEL21c.
RespiDX has applied for a Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation grant and is seeking matching funds to run a test project in Africa in order to identify cultural and field conditions that could impact the final design of the reusable product and the training protocol for healthcare workers.
“We also made contact with a researcher who has experience running trial projects with community health workers,” says Solomon. “The idea is to simply diagnose and also simply treat children right in their villages.”