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Israeli Companies that have Technology for Neurodivergent Humans

Almost all Israeli high school graduates go straight into the Army. I say almost because there are exceptions and exemptions. I am using the Israeli Defence Force as an example for this talk because neurodiversity is no longer a barrier to entry into the Israeli Army, which has been known as the melting pot of Israelis since the country’s inception almost 75 years ago. For example, there is a specific Israeli Army Unit That Recruits Teens with Autism. I quote from a 2016 article: “Many autistic soldiers who would otherwise be exempt from military service have found a place in Unit 9900, a selective intelligence squad where their heightened perceptual skills are an asset.” A short excerpt: “For many people, combing through each millimeter of the same location from various angles would be tedious work—but E., on the autism spectrum, describes the job as relaxing, “like a hobby.”

From the army website about Unit 9900: “Soldiers that compose this highly classified branch are some of the most specialized in the IDF. The members are all on the autism spectrum and gifted with an incredible ability to analyze, interpret, and understand satellite images and maps. Their work helps greatly in protecting Israel’s population, and the unit itself is unlike any other in the IDF…The elite, secret group of soldiers who serve within the RR Program are indeed unlike any group in the IDF, but not only because they are all on the autism spectrum. These soldiers are all volunteers. They could have been exempt from military service in the IDF but insisted on contributing just like their peers. They are endowed with deep motivation and desire to serve their country and become an active part of the society they live in; the most recent group of 11 soldiers in the RR Program, like those before them, are given the choice of serving for one year or extending, and 9 out of these 11 have decided to extend their service.”

For example, some of the cyber tech I see has technology transferred by former Army graduates. They finish their army service, having highly specialised training with a close-knit group of colleagues, oftentimes given leadership opportunities specific to their abilities, and then go on to higher education in that field and find employment in that industry or create their niche in the form of a startup. I cannot comment on the list below founders of health tech startups for neurodivergent individuals, though I can note that Israel is an inclusive country and the following 28 companies are proof of that fact. As a disclaimer, there are probably many more startups, scaleups, and companies emerging from Israel with technologies for neurodivergent humans.

The list:

1accessiBeAI-powered Web Accessibility Technology
2accessibleGOTravel Platform for People with Disabilities
3aNeuSTARTAt-home Diagnostic Kit for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder
4AngelSenseGPS and Voice-monitoring for Children with Special Needs
5ArrowsWearable Personal Assistant for Social Interactions
6AS SIMPLE AS THATAlgorithm for Simplifying Content
7BestBrainCognitive Self-care Solutions
8BPAUSDigital Platform for the Early Assessment and Treatment of Autism
9BrainQ TechnologiesNeurology Therapies Using Brain Computer Interface Technology
10BrainStormAutologous Stem Cell Therapeutics for Neurodegenerative Disorders
11CommboardsAAC Speech-assistance App
12CompediaImmersive 3D Educational Solutions
13eMazeLabsSaaS Platform for At-home Cognitive Therapy
14Gabi’s StorySexual Education App for Children with Autism
15Ginger TigerSpecial Needs Online Learning
16NeuroAuditNeuromodulation Protocols for Personalized Brain Disease Treatment
17Perceive Brain HealthVoice-based Medical Screening
18SciSparcCannabinoid Pharmaceuticals for Treatment of Central Nervous System Disorders
19SensoryTreatSensory Integration Therapy Platform
20SensPDEarly Diagnosis of Autism
21SocialMindAutism Interventions for Parents
22TABI Learning TechnologiesPersonalized Digital Learning Platform for Students with Learning Disabilities
23TimoccoMotion-based Gaming Platform for Child Development and Rehabilitation
24UmooveFace and Eye Tracking Technology
25VoiceittVoice Recognition Technology for Non-standard Speech
26XRHealthVirtual Clinic for Rehabilitation and Therapeutic Care
27YalmoAI System for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder
28Yoocan TechnologiesCollaborative Community for and by People with Disabilities

A brief on some of these Startups:

#25 – Voiceitt:

Voiceitt is a software company that has developed automatic speech recognition (ASR) technology for non-standard speech. Its first product, launched in 2021, is a mobile app that enables people with atypical speech patterns associated with disability, aging, or heavy accents to access mainstream voice-activated devices, such as Google Home and Amazon Echo, and to communicate and be understood verbally. The first version of Voiceitts technology, which has been validated in more than 10 languages, learns each users’ unique speech patterns in order to enable them to independently perform everyday activities such as ordering coffee, asking for directions, and telling family members that they love them. In December 2020, Voiceitt announced its integration with Amazon Alexa, allowing people with dysarthria (slurred speech) to independently execute voice commands through Alexa for the first time. Voiceitt aims to ultimately increase the independence and quality of life for people with disabilities worldwide by making speech recognition accessible to everyone.

#2 – AccessibleGO

accessibleGO is a full-service travel platform that enables users to research and book accessible hotels, flights, and car rentals in different destinations. The platform offers a community forum, accessibility reviews for hotels, and detailed travel articles about disability access in the United States’ most popular travel destinations. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, accessibleGO began gathering specific information from individual hotels about the safety protocols they’ve implemented and made their responses visible on the hotel listings on its booking site. Additionally, the company has added hotel chain COVID-19 cleaning and safety policies to hotel detail pages, and made this information easily findable with a badge in the search results. In 2018, accessibleGO won’s regional start-up lab competition.

#26 – XRHealth:

XRHealth is focused on bringing patient care into the virtual world. The company operates therapeutic care virtual rooms through the use of proprietary FDA- and CE-registered medical extended reality (XR) technology, including virtual and augmented reality. XRHealth integrates immersive XR technology, licensed clinicians, and advanced data analytics on one platform, providing a comprehensive therapeutic care solution that enables patients to receive treatment from the comfort of home. The company offers a variety of patent-pending solutions ranging from rehabilitation services to cognitive assessment and training to pain management. XRHealth works with BUPA in Australia. Virtual Reality for ASD – Virtual reality applications have been proven to effectively assist children on the spectrum with their interpersonal effectiveness and emotional regulation. The VR therapy is a fully immersive experience that can encourage nervous system regulation – from the anxious fight-or-flight state to a parasympathetic state of calm and ease. Our therapists create a personalized treatment plan for each child and apply the appropriate therapies and interventions to the individual. This includes a combination of cognitive-behavioral behavioral therapy (CBT) and similar therapy techniques alongside VR therapy using modern technology.

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