From well-established companies to fledgling startups, a range of tech development teams are using their resources to find inventive healthcare technologies to relieve the strain on overburdened healthcare systems. Here’s a review of six Israeli technological innovations that serve healthcare teams, some of which are already in use at Sheba Medical Center:
Sight Diagnostics Ltd.’s mobile, AI-based quick blood testing tool
Sight Diagnostics Ltd., based in Tel Aviv, developed a portable device that can perform a complete blood count (CBC) in mere minutes.The standard healthcare technologies currently in use require that the blood sample be sent to a lab for processing by a qualified technician. In contrast, Sight’s device is fully portable and doesn’t necessitate training to operate; results are obtained within minutes.
The features of Sight’s device make it ideal for testing coronavirus patients in quarantine. Last week, Sheba Medical Center announced it will use this high-tech device to treat patients who are in isolation.
EarlySense Ltd.’s monitoring system for patients in home-quarantine
EarlySense Ltd. developed a non-invasive system for monitoring patients that was already granted approval in both Europe and the U.S., and has already been applied for use in hospitals and nursing homes. The EarlySense Ltd. monitors are already in use at Sheba Medical Center.
The zero-physical contact monitoring platform, which resembles a cutting-board, is placed beneath the patient’s mattress to measure vitals around the clock; measurements are taken 100 times per minute. An analysis of the patient’s chest movements provides data on breathing patterns, which is used to spot changes in a patient’s health condition.
Because the system does not need to be physically attached to the patient and alerts are sent remotely, it is particularly well suited for preventing the spread of coronavirus. The company also reports that the platform can be used to track asymptomatic carriers who are quarantined at home.
RADLogic’s rapid diagnostic tool
RADLogics Inc. is an Israeli-American software analytics company that specializes in using AI to provide visual evaluations of medical scans. Based in Tel Aviv, this company has released numerous pioneering products that received FDA approval before many others in the same category.
About two months ago, healthcare professionals in China began using RADLogic’s devices, and they discovered some unique results. A small, patch-like finding was seen in the lungs of coronavirus patients – even in asymptomatic carriers. These results were aligned with a study published in China that used CT scans to inspect about 1,000 patients and found that the virus was present in 48% of people who tested negative with regular screening tests.
The information compiled by using RADLogic’s system in China helped the company to customize its products for identifying coronavirus. This method of testing can also provide results within seconds, instead of hours. Existing CT machines can be used non-invasively, and the patient findings can help physicians to prioritize ventilators.
RADLogic’s products are already being implemented in Russia and China and are expected to be available for use soon in Europe. In the USA, the system is currently being assessed for advanced approval.
Kamada Ltd. uses antibodies from recovered patients to treat serious cases of coronavirus
Biopharmaceutical company Kamada Ltd. is currently investing its resources into developing Covid-19 antibodies for use as a treatment against the virus. The veteran company is collecting blood and plasma from Israelis who have recovered, and then purifying it to generate a specific concentration of antibodies that can be used to treat patients with serious cases of coronavirus. This is not a vaccine, but a costly one-off treatment for severe cases.
The development process for the antibody treatment is long, which means it will not be readily available for a while. Kamada is collaborating with health authorities to promote faster access to effective coronavirus treatment.
Clew Medical Ltd. creates a system to enable remote consultations
Clew Medical Ltd., developed a system that falls under life-saving healthcare technologies that focus on the individual. It is a predictive care startup, formulated an algorithm to collect data from emergency monitoring devices and alert medical providers in the event that the patient’s condition deteriorates. About 6-12 hours before the patient’s condition worsens, this technology could alert healthcare professionals of impending danger. Clew’s device can thereby alleviate some of the burden from the medical team, enabling them to prepare in advance.
Patients in isolated units can be monitored closely, with all vital information conveyed to a central control room. The medical staff in the control room can then guide endpoint teams. In this manner, makeshift care units and small hospitals can benefit from the supportive knowledge of experts.
Clew’s system is already under trial in U.S. hospitals, and its use in Israeli hospitals is currently under consideration.
Geneyx Genomex Ltd. develops a data bank to identify the most vulnerable patients
Geneyx Genomex Ltd., a Tel Aviv based company, developed a cloud-based genetic data bank, which research institutes can use to help identify genetic risk or resistance factors for different medical conditions. Presently, a study is being performed to compare mild and severe cases of Covid-19, to determine if there are any particular genetic mutations that increase or decrease response to the virus.
Hospitals in Israel, Italy, and China, have joined as participants in Geneyx’s study. The company plans to partner with other international medical facilities that are presently treating patients with coronavirus. All participants will receive a collaborative data management system.
Once a sufficient quantity of samples has been collected, the cases of Covid-19 will be categorized (for example, according to the severity of symptoms), and the DNA sequencing process will commence. Geneyx also plans to compile a database to map sensitivity to the virus, which can help give advance warning to healthcare teams.