New Partnership Between Sheba and Sight Diagnostics Supports COVID-19 Quarantine Measures
A compact blood analyzer developed by an Israeli blood testing startup has been implemented to support the healthcare management of coronavirus-infected patients.
Sheba Medical Center recently established a new collaboration with Sight Diagnostics. This Israeli startup created the OLO blood analyzer, which provides rapid CBC (complete blood count) results using a method that minimizes the risk of contamination for medical staff. The blood results are processed in a specialized laboratory set up to help monitor coronavirus COVID-19 patients who are hospitalized in an isolation facility.
Before OLO was used for COVID-19, Sight conducted a two-month long evaluation at Sheba’s main lab. This trial led to the use of OLO for CBC testing.
OLO uses a self-contained cartridge to collect two drops of blood from the patient, either from a finger prick or venous sample. The blood is inserted into OLO, and CBC results are provided within minutes. OLO creates more than 1,000 high resolution images from the sample, and fully automated algorithms then interpret these images.
“Typically, monitoring a patient infected with a virus like COVID-19 would involve taking a blood sample from the infected individual with a needle, labelling vials of drawn blood, sending those vials to a lab outside of the quarantine zone, and receiving the results of the test an hour or more later,” said Yossi Pollak, CEO of Sight. “For health facilities in countries where OLO is available for point-of-care use, that tactical advantage could make a big difference in a field setting.”
In sum, this method of blood testing can be set up easily and quickly in a setting dedicated to testing infectious blood samples. The efficiency of OLO goes far towards managing contagion and reducing the risk of contamination for the hospital’s medical staff.
“By setting up a quarantined lab that requires special protocols in handling samples from infected patients, we’re taking the necessary steps to protect our staff who are on the frontlines, fighting the coronavirus epidemic,” said Dr. Ram Doolman, Director of Sheba’s Laboratories Division.
Sheba’s deployment of OLO is just one part of a bigger initiative to use zero-physical contact telemedicine to treat patients with coronavirus COVID-19. Other technological solutions currently being implemented at Sheba include Datos’s remote patient monitoring platform, InTouch Health’s robot, XRHealth’s VR headsets, and TytoCare’s devices for connecting quarantined patients with the medical staff.