A remote coronavirus testing system developed by Israel's Elbit Systems is begin medical trials at the country's Rabin Medical Center, raising hope for faster and safer diagnosis.
It came just two weeks after the Directorate for Defense R&D (DDRD) at Israel's Ministry of Defense requested the development of a solution that enables teams at Israeli medical centers to test patients for the coronavirus from a safe distance. The system has already been tested by teams from Elbit and the DDRD, according to a press release.
Elbit developed two solutions based on arrays of electro-optic sensors, including thermal ones, and two types of compact radar for different ranges, the press release said.
Yossi Cohen, CTO at Elbit Systems C4I & Cyber Division, was quoted as saying "The solution to enter trials at the Rabin medical center is based on a radar that senses the data from a distance of dozens of centimeters, with no physical contact with the patient, transmitting the read to the doctor’s computer."
"This solution measures heartbeat, respiration and body temperature. The objective is to use this solution to enable broad classification of ER patients identifying those with possible respiration condition, thereby allowing more efficient patient management while lowering the risk for medical teams."
One of the radars is said to determine the heartbeat, respiration rate and body temperature of patients sitting front of the systems within a few seconds.
Cohen said a second solution based on a radar capable of sensing medical parameters from as far as 2 meters is still under review.
"In addition we are developing algorithms that will enable high-probability rapid diagnosis of COVID-19. This however is still in early stages. These are all commercial products that do not require export licensing.
"At this stage the challenge is technological. A proof of concept will be followed by getting approvals for clinical trials with medical centers. We are reviewing manufacturing aspects including serial production. The requirement at this stage is for a limited number of systems, focused in Israel," he said.