As we watch the ‘era of the mask’ come to an end, we stand poised, eagerly awaiting and welcoming the turning of a new page. This next chapter, one whose approach crests the horizon and comes ever so quickly, ushers us forward with its siren-like song, relinquishing our yearning for intimate contact only recalled by our not-so-distant nostalgic memories.
As the caterpillar transforms into the butterfly, spreading its wings and taking flight, so too begins our own process of molting. This, I refer to is the official, unofficial ‘shedding of the masks.’ A once sea of faces, covered and characterless, has now been given new life; one in which mandatory coverings and restrictions are of no more, and merely regarded as a thing of the past.
But as we cheer, applaud, and pat ourselves on the back for having endured and persevered through this challenging time, we must also question to what, if any, effects this indefinite shift of behavior will have upon the long and short term health of our society, and what collateral effects will be placed upon our healthcare system as well?
As we gravitate towards a certain degree of collective complacency regarding the strain we have imposed upon our healthcare workers and system all together, we take solace in our continual arguing and justifications of our actions. But whilst doing so, serious postulation and reflection is needed and necessary to fully understand and comprehend the ramifications of our decisions.
Since the easing of mandatory mask mandates and social distancing, the CDC has seen an increase in reported cases of respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV, in southern US states; something not seen since April 2020. Also, in a recent interview with CNN, Richard Webby, an influenza specialist at Memphis’ St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital stated that, “The worst flu season we ever had may be coming.”
Our nation, now operating mostly free from its facial covering constraints, has undoubtedly experienced a reduction of its collective immunity and exposure towards everyday airborne pathogens such as the common cold, flu, etc., and our new societal shift will most assuredly lead to an uptick of reported illnesses as more and more citizens continue to immerse themselves back into social settings sans masks, in close proximity of one another, and armed with a newfound courage of immunity brought on by a pseudo sense of a ‘win or victory’ against the still deadly COVID-19 virus.
There is no denying the fact that the healthcare industry has suffered a tumultuous strain over the past 18+ months; and due to the pandemic, we’ve seen the rise of telemedicine, normalization of virtual visits, and an increased accumulation of patient data readily available on-demand as a direct result. This leads one to ponder if these trend’s adoptions are here to stay as the preferable method of treatment in the future, or are their days too fading in kind?
In light of this transition, here are just a few examples of innovative Israeli healthtech companies who have stood up to answer those calls, and are making waves in our ever-changing remote healthcare ecosystem.
Binah.ai’ vital signs monitoring solutions remove the need for home medical devices or wearables to allow users to take control of their personal wellbeing just by using a device they already have: A smartphone, tablet or laptop camera. The unique mix of signal processing and AI technologies allows Binah.ai to deliver the largest set of vital signs available from a single mobile device, with consistent, medically-grade accurate results, in under 1 minute.
With users only having to look at the device’s camera, Binah.ai offers a unique user experience, making it extremely easy to use, non-invasive and contactless. It does not need any identifiable personal features such as a person’s eyes or face video to extract the vitals, and supports any age, skin color, and gender. Delivered as an SDK or ready-to-use, end-to-end solution, it is extremely easy to integrate and ready for immediate use.
Datos addresses the growing need to transition more care from hospitals and clinics to the home. As a robust and flexible remote-care automation platform, the user-friendly yet cost-effective Datos solution enables any hospital department to rapidly and seamlessly deploy remote care processes and workflows.
Its agnostic platform enables care delivery across any clinical condition, device, patient profile, and treatment protocol, and helps health systems realize the potential of patient-generated data through strong patient engagement.
EarlySense technology allows for the continuous monitoring of heart and respiratory rates without ever touching the patient. The technology alerts clinicians to potential patient deterioration events much earlier than traditional monitoring methods. This technology serves as the engine for EarlySense remote patient monitoring devices, helping bring hospital-grade patient analytics to care settings outside of the hospital.
Through the API, customers and partners can access vital signs and other biometrics, as well as view specialized insights utilizing our data science (AI) applications and the strength of our large data ecosystem. Monitored data is provided on an ongoing basis, allowing identifications of health trends early-on; which may assist in the ability of a patient’s medical team to head off a perceived decline in the status of their health.
Neteera enables and enhances digital health by introducing a new generation of medical sensors to monitor human vital signs and physiological indicators from a distance. This technology is able to analyze patients through their clothing, and removes the need for caregiver presence. Patient data includes cardiovascular and respiratory indicators, as well as biometric identification. Data is stored in a HIPAA and GDPR compliant cloud, allowing for interpretation with AI.
As an emergency response to the current COVID-19 pandemic, Neteera worked with partners to develop front-line, contact-free pre-screening solutions for deployment in hospitals, airports, workplaces, and public venues. Also, in June 2020, Neteera’s groundbreaking achievements were ranked 9th in CNBC’s Disruptor 50 list, which consisted of over 1,350 nominees!
Oxitone provides an FDA-cleared, wrist-worn medical monitor powered by personalized AI-aided analytics that do not involve the usage of uncomfortable, wired fingertip sensors, and is geared towards physicians and providers who want an efficient alternative to episodic remote monitoring of high-risk patients.
Unlike spot-check fingertip devices for sporadic monitoring of physiological abnormalities associated with severe chronic diseases, Oxitone is the most innovative, comfortable and accurate medical continuous monitoring solution on the market.
Gynisus is a digital health, AI-based company empowering healthcare stakeholders with the ability to save lives, money and time by predicting clinical implications associated with financial impacts. Gynisus’s platform, SPAI™, is a comprehensive and predictive tool which connects host systems (inpatient and outpatient) to a single centralized dashboard, reducing fragmentation and discontinuity of care.
SPAI™ continually assesses and monitors the progression of a patient’s illness, and flags critical events which may cause significant clinical implications. Additionally, SPAI™ assesses clients’ patient caseloads, and accurately identifies patients requiring intervention, as well as the specific type of intervention required.
To date, SPAI™ has analyzed over 500,000 US-based patients, and more than 500,000 patients worldwide. This ongoing compilation and inclusion of data into the platform’s proprietary behavior algorithms has resulted in the highly accurate and timely information used to assist in the prevention of future events, as well as significantly diminish the severity of inevitable events.
By: Devin Reeves