Beyond telehealth: sensor-based vital signs monitoring for early coronavirus symptoms being tested in Israel

Now that the US, as well as other countries like Austria and Germany, are planning to emerge from full quarantine and lockdown (before we all go stir crazy and broke), can digital health move beyond telehealth consults to proactive detection of possible cases of coronavirus and other communicable diseases, which would be valuable in early-stage detection and mapping outbreaks?

The answer: possibly. An intriguing use of sensor-based diagnostic monitoring is being tested in Israel. A Tel Aviv-based company, Vayyar Imaging, is using its 4D radar imaging system to capture data without contact, such as pulse, heart rate variability, and respiratory rate. This extends the kind of contact testing with forehead thermometers which are often used in South Korea and Japan for airport arrival testing and, with other tests, during the Ebola event in the US.

The dedicated sensors can operate through walls and objects, are not line-of-sight, and are not influenced by lighting. They can map environments and track movements in real-time.

The tests are being run with MAFAT (Israel’s Defense Research & Development Directorate) and Israel’s Naval Medical Institute to run real-time monitoring with their personnel to detect early signs of the COVID-19 virus. The Israel National Emergency Team completed an earlier test in which two Vayyar sensor systems were adapted to remotely analyze patient data. Vayyar release.

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