Saturday, September 13, 2008

Israel, a Country of Science Innovation
by Nadene Goldfoot

Israel does not have any oil. It is surrounded by Arab countries who do. It seems strange that this particular small piece of land is devoid of such a commodity. Many probably think it's not worth fighting over.

The most important resource in Israel are its people. It's the people of Israel who are making it worthwhile for Americans to support it financially. The USA felt it was important to help Russian Jews come to Israel and helped Israel finance this by helping Israel obtain loans from American banks. It has paid off.

The flood of Russians who came to Israel included many scientists, engineers and programmers. Many of them excelled in math, physics, and material sciences and medical electronics. They found others in Israel with the same interests. Close cooperation developed between medical research and industry. Now Israel is a leading country in innovations in medical technology. Religion was not allowed in Russia. If they were found to attend a synagogue, they were put in prison.

"There is no area of medicine to which Israeli devices have not made significant contributions." Considering that Israel has had to waste time fighting in about 6 wars makes me wonder how all this thinking can go on when some of the scientists were on the front fighting terrorists. Think what could have happened if they could remain in their labs.

They have contributed to areas that the United States is able to take advantage of and use, which is benefiting Americans. Cardiology, genetics, neurology and ophthalmology are just a few of the sciences that benefit from advanced Israeli technology. They are working in neonatology to gerontology (from the babies to the old people) to the latest in telemedicine. Israeli scientists, universities and companies work to benefit the entire health system. They even work on medical administrators and insurers to help the physicians and patients and try to improve all of these areas.

ESC and Laser Technologies merged into one company valued at $1 billion. Medinols cardiac stent was purchased by agreement with Boston Scientific Corp.; and Biosense Ltd. was purchased by Johnson and Johnson, each in deals closing at about $400 million.

Other medical devices and equipment pioneered in Israel are different aesthetic medicine like electro-optic medical devices that work on skin cancer, benign lesions, varicose veins, skin rejuvenation, and hair removal from ESC Medical Systems Ltd., autoclaves from Tuttnauer Co. Ltd in Jerusalem which is a world leader in steam and gas autoclaves to sterilize medical instruments, cardiology stents that are implanted in blood vessels during angioplasty. InStent with American partner, Medtroic/beStent line and the crimper, Medinol with American partner, Boston Scientific/Nir cardiac stent ine market leader, etc. Dental medicine, diagnostic cardiology, diagnostic genetics, and mammographay and neurology. The list is too long.

One thing that Israel has developed is Copaxone, which is used to alleviate M.S. symptoms.
There are people who are against Israel's successes and have websites telling people not to buy Israeli products. I wonder if among these haters, there aren't sick people who are using Israeli-developed products that are helping them to get well. Then again, there are people who keep saying, "we shouldn't be supporting Israel in any financial way." I wonder how long it will take for them to realize that investing in Israel is paying off.

Research: Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Innovations in Medical Technology 1999

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