Israelis Innovating to Combat Virus

Testing for Infections

Researchers at Israel’s Technion and the Rambam Health Care Campus have developed a way of dramatically increasing the current testing capacity for COVID-19.

By pooling multiple samples in a single test tube, they can test as many as 64 in one normal procedure, which takes several hours. Professor Roy Kishony said:

“Even when we conducted a joint examination of 64 samples
in which only one was a positive carrier,
the system identified that there was a positive sample.”

That bulk testing enables them to identify which batches contain at least one sample with COVID-19. Dr Yuval Gefen explained that:

“Only in those rare cases, where the joint sample is found to be positive,
will we conduct an individual test for each of the specific samples.”


Protecting Medical Staff

Israel’s Sheba Medical Center is limiting the exposure of its medical staff to COVID-19 by using a contact-free, continuous monitoring device called EarlySense.

The Medical Centre’s Chief Medical Officer, Dr Eyal Zimlichman said:

“We are doing our utmost to provide patients with quality care and comfort while minimising
the danger COVID-19 poses to our health practitioners and to the public.”

“We are grateful to EarlySense for answering an open call from our ARC innovation center
for technologies and  providing its contact-free patient monitoring system.”


Working with the Palestinians

A senior Palestinian Authority (PA) official confirmed this week that they have improved co-ordination with Israel over the past few weeks to help combat the spread of the new coronavirus.

This type of co-ordination has been used for a long time on security and civil matters, but now a special mechanism has been set up to communicate live on all matters related to the virus.

Israel has also provided the PA with hundreds of coronavirus test kits and specialist protective equipment for Palestinian health workers. Israeli and Palestinian medical professionals are also participating in joint learning workshops to combat the pandemic.

On Wednesday, President Reuven Rivlin said that he had spoken to PA President Mahmoud Abbas to say that this type of co-operation is “vital to ensure the health” of both peoples.