Several years ago, amateur athlete Hemi Re’em was shocked to discover that his coronary arteries were 90 percent blocked despite his seemingly good health.
This set him on a path to cofounding Yopi Technologies.
Yopi (Your Online Personal Instructor) is a first-of-its-kind, AI-based wearable device that monitors oxygen consumption through electrolytes in the sweat. The goal is to detect heart deterioration and measure overall wellness.
Quit playing games with your heart
“I’ve been an amateur athlete for as long as I can remember,” Re’em tells ISRAEL21c.
He began running triathlons in the 1990s and eventually made it to the Ironman World Championship — an ultra-triathlon held annually in the US since 1978 — becoming one of the few Israelis at the time who achieved that feat.
So it was quite the surprise to everyone, but especially to Re’em, when one day, at age 52, he found himself being wheeled off into an operating room for heart bypass surgery.
“I wasn’t in any risk group. I didn’t smoke, didn’t have high cholesterol or [high] blood pressure. I was constantly monitoring my heartrate and performing stress tests.”
His doctor asked him to try and recall whether there were any early signs of a potential heart problem. “And there were,” Re’em admits. “I just put them down to the wrong diet, bad sleep and not enough training. When in reality all of it was pointing to the fact that there was something wrong with my heart.”
That’s when Re’em realized that heartrate is not a good indicator of a developing heart problem. “I told myself that there has to be another way to monitor our bodies.”
Up until now, the only way to measure volume and oxygen (VO2) — cardiologists’ gold standard for determining cardiorespiratory fitness — was through a