Preparing for Coronavirus: Sheba Establishes First Known Telemedicine Program
In response to the recent epidemic, the coronavirus preparation at Sheba has begun by testing the first known telemedicine program in the world. The program consists of two main components: a “robot,” which is a Vici solution designed by Intouch Health, a California-based virtual reality healthcare program, and a telemedicine application designed by Datos Health.
A new field hospital was also established by Sheba as an external unit for treating coronavirus patients. Similar in design to a military field hospital, the unit is modular and can be erected instantly in a nearby open area. It will include a specialized area for doctors to examine patients suspected of having coronavirus, as well as an isolation area for anyone who tested positive. The first drill was already conducted.
In this field hospital, Sheba’s doctors are able to provide all medical services available in their inpatient wing. However, the external, separate location of this unit benefits other hospitalized patients – especially because many sick persons are immunosuppressed and more vulnerable to catching the life-threatening virus.
Several high-level meetings have been held in Israel to discuss the coronavirus threat. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with senior health, emergency, and government executives to help put plans in place to prepare and protect the country.
“We are not taking any unnecessary risks,” the prime minister said. “We are aware that the virus cannot be completely prevented, so we are preparing to deal with the virus after its first entry into Israel.”
In line with this sentiment, Sheba, along with Magen David Adom, also announced the implementation of new safety measures to prevent blood transfusion patients from infection by the coronavirus.