Tackling disability: The impact of assistive technology in Israel

Startup nation is a global leader in technologies that could benefit people with disabilities worldwide

Israel is considered one of the world’s main technology hubs and has earned the moniker “startup nation,” a phrase popularized by the 2009 book of the same name that documented the rise of the local tech ecosystem.

In recent years, a growing number of Israeli startups have started down a new path, focusing their attention and skills on the assistive technology world, which includes products and services that help disabled people improve their lives.

From the north to the south of the country, assistive technology startups are spreading, targeting a growing need and developing products and services that have the potential to make an impact on the lives of many.

There are over one billion people, or 15% of the world’s population, who experience some form of disability, according to World Bank data. A recent survey conducted by the World Health Organization shows that that number will double in the next 30 years, and there will be 2 billion people needing assistive technologies by 2050 as the number of elderly people live longer.

From technologies that help wheelchair users to walk again to apps that allow disabled people to see or listen again, these new technologies aim to make life better, and to do so affordably.

“Tackling disability” is a short video documentary produced by Medill School of Journalism student Iacopo Luzi and The Times of Israel. It focuses on three assistive technology startups, narrating the stories of their founders and showing how their products can potentially help thousands of people.

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