One high-tech solution for patients possibly infected with the coronavirus is a robot that can enter the patient’s room and be controlled by medical staff from the outside. (photo from IMP)
Before the coronavirus arrived in Israel – there were two reported cases at press time – Sheba Medical Centre was preparing for it with different high-tech means: a telemedicine app that enables patients to receive care in the isolation, but comfort, of their own home; and robots that can treat in-hospital patients in order to minimize contact with staff.
Sheba’s Datos Health-In is a telemedicine app that enables patients to remain at home. In the event of an epidemic, with more patients than isolation rooms available, the app can be a viable tool for patients who are not severely ill. With the app, patients can enter vital signs and other information, which is directly accessed by their doctor. Patients can also establish contact with their physicians at any time of day or night.
The program was launched on Feb. 9 and tested on Israelis who had been in China and who, according to Health Ministry instructions, had to be in quarantine for 14 days, the incubation period of the virus. Doctors initialized contact with the patients twice a day.
“This is one instance where telemedicine protects staff as well as other patients, by minimizing direct contact with those infected with the coronavirus,” explained Dr. Galia Barkai, head of telemedicine services at Sheba.
Another high-tech solution for patients possibly infected with the coronavirus is a robot that can enter the patient’s room and be controlled by medical staff from the outside. Designed by California-based virtual healthcare company Intouch Health, the robots are already in use in other departments, such as in the intensive care unit of pediatric cardiology, and the trauma unit.
“This technology is the perfect solution to provide care for in-patients infected with coronavirus, while protecting staff from contagion,” said Barkai.
Screening for the virus produces results in just a few hours but, with symptoms that are not very dramatic and that are reminiscent of the flu, including fever, cough and shortness of breath, Israel’s Health Ministry is only allowing those who have returned from China and a few other countries in the Far East to be tested.
– Courtesy International Marketing and Promotion (IMP)