Meet Avi Yaron, the man that invented a cure for his own brain tumour – WIRED 2015
A truly inspiring talk from Avi Yaron, who was a startup founder and student in Israel back in 1993 and had what turned out to be one the luckiest motorocycle crashes of his life! No just because he survived, but because during his recovery doctors discovered a brain tumour near the area related to movement and conscious thought. Doctors said that even if they did operate, the tumour would change his life by leaving him potentially paralysed down one side of his body.
As Yaron himself puts it: “I was definitely in a state of shock, but I was not sure [the doctors] were completely honest and open with me. [And so] I decided to fight for my life. I went to the medical library and started learning, anatomy, biology […] every time I thought I understood and took one step forward I was slapped and took two steps backward. The worst part was that everyone around me thought I was insane.”
Essentially, the problem was not in the instruments to remove the tumour, but in the scopes used to see what the doctors were doing. So Yaron went ahead and created this solution himself! Founding Visionsense and spending nine years developing a new scope inspired by the structure of insect eyes to look into the brain in 3D. That scope contains hundreds of thousands of tiny, micron-sized elements that together produce live 3D images for surgeons, as they operate. Studies are now starting to show these 3D images can make a real difference to success rates of surgery — though other research is ongoing.
To hear Yaron’s whole story, watch the full video: