The ALYN Hospital, located in Israel, is paving the way toward creating a better world for children with special needs by starting an innovation centre that facilitates the developing of technology and devices for special needs children.
The Trigger Point
Having laid its foundation stone back in 1932, the ALYN hospital has always been a frontrunner, focussing on paediatric rehabilitation for all kinds of physical disabilities.
Given that more than 1 billion people across the world suffer from physical disabilities and almost 90 million of those are children, the need to address this issues was high on the list of the ALYN. By bringing in their innovative experts, they decided to tap into the technological ecosystem of Israel and start ALYNovation, an innovation lab that aimed to extend the reach of the hospital.
What does this lab offer?
ALYN’s innovation lab has access to the technical equipment and physical space that experts need to develop products that can then be moved to the markets. Danna Mann, ALYNovation’s Director, considers this centre a one stop shop for those looking for assistance in developing technology that could benefit the differently abled.
This innovation lab is made up of PELE, which is an acronym in Hebrew that means Solutions for Children of ALYN and the second arm of this lab is ALYNovation. While ALYN is more of an incubator for startups, PELE focusses on solving individual problems of children, which do not have simple solutions.
PELE: Bettering Children’s Lives
Due to PELE’s efforts, a 13 year old who was not able to use his arms properly, was given a contraption that helped him pull at a string to bring his head down so that he could lay the tefillin on his head, during his Bar Mitzvah. Since there aren’t many people who face this difficulty across the globe, there is no off-the shelf solution for such a problem.
Most of the solutions that PELE brings to the table are customized and personalised to meet the respective person’s needs. Thus, ALYN’s Innovation Centre is really making strides in developing solutions for children with different problems.
ALYNovation: Creating a Wider Reach
Being an incubator, ALYN provides the facilities for people to develop solutions that can benefit a larger number of children having special needs, and then commercialise these products.
The Israeli Non-profit organisation, Wheelchairs of Hope, had partnered with ALYNovation to develop wheelchairs that were sold at $100. So while this branch of ALYN tries to expand the reach of the hospital, they are also looking to create activities that will generate their own revenue. Mann feels such a model helps donors realise that the motivations of their organisation are well-aligned.
Having received the support of Israel’s National Insurance Fund and the Jerusalem Development Authority, the hospital hopes to raise enough funds to assist their first few years of activity.
For now, they intend to strive towards providing children with disabilities, access to education, communication and information that they may not have had before by developing technology that will provide solutions to various problems encountered by them.