First Confirmed Coronavirus Case in Israel at Sheba Medical Center, Tel HaShomer

Israel's Sheba Medical Center, Tel HaShomer has confirmed the first case of coronavirus after 11 Israeli travelers from the Princess Diamond cruise ship were brought to an isolated unit at Sheba on Friday morning. The woman, in her 70's, has tested positive but has not shown any symptoms.

RAMAT GAN, Israel, Feb. 21, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Israel's Sheba Medical Center has confirmed the country's first case of coronavirus, following the arrival of 11 quarantined patients from the Princess Diamond Cruise Ship. All of the passengers tested negative before arriving in Israel.

The woman, who is in her 70s, has tested positive but has not yet shown symptoms. She is the wife of a patient who also tested positive. He, too, was on the Princess Diamond Cruise ship and is currently being treated in Japan.

The Israeli travelers at Sheba Medial Center are being quarantined in an isolation unit for the next two weeks, away from the main Sheba campus. Sheba is 100% prepared to care for these individuals without risking the safety of staff or other patients. The woman who tested positive is separated from the other quarantined patients. 

"We are doing our utmost to minimize and eliminate the danger to the public by isolating the returning Israeli citizens. The secluded complex, which is away from the central hospital campus features a small area outside where the returning citizens will be able to take short walks away from the hospital, within the complex," said Prof. Arnon Afek, Dep. Director General of Sheba Medical Center and Director of Sheba's General Hospital.

Cutting-edge telemedicine will be utilized to protect staff. A robot operated by doctors from a remote location will allow physicians to monitor patient vital signs, communicate with the patient and conduct basic check-ups.

"We are using some of the world's most sophisticated high-tech telemedicine applications taken from the start-up ecosystem at Sheba and Israel, using sensors, robots and hand-held devices in order to minimize exposure to our medical staff. The goal is to make our returning citizens feel comfortable in an environment where they will know that all of their needs will be taken care of," said Prof. Afek.

Telemedicine Technologies being Utilized:

Datos: The mobile app is designed to directly and continuously connect patients with their sources of medical care. To help implement Sheba's coronavirus telemedicine program, the platform-powered app will enable close remote monitoring by making it possible for patients to continuously measure and record their body temperature, and even reminding them to do so. The app will additionally allow medical staff to initiate video calls with patients, so as to check on their condition and provide them with the confidence that they're fully taken care of.

"Datos' solution can help us greatly reduce this risk by enabling us to monitor less severe patients outside the hospital, in the relative safety and comfort within their homes, with the telemedicine app enabling us to communicate with them via video whenever necessary," said Dr. Galia Barkai, Director of Telemedicine at Sheba Medical Center's ARC innovation project Sheba Medical Center.

"Our technology and mobile app are proving their worth in enabling Sheba to remotely monitor people having recently returned from Japan, keeping both patients and hospital staff as safe as possible from unnecessary exposure," said Uri Bettesh, Founder & CEO of Datos.  

Tytocare: All of the patients will be given a hand-held device that will allow doctors to remotely examine the patients. The patients will be able to fully examine themselves with the device, which includes a stethoscope, thermometer etc. The device is also able to monitor the lungs, where the COVID-19 virus strikes hardest.

EarlySense: Real-time delivery of actionable data, combined with sophisticated patient data management tools, empowers clinical staff to identify potentially critical situations early, before they become high risk.

Coronavirus appeared in China late last year and has been diagnosed in tens of thousands of people. There have been over 620 cases confirmed cases of the virus among the Diamond Princess's original 3,711 people on board. That is the most cases anywhere outside China.

Before the quarantine on the ship had ended, the United States evacuated more than 300 Americans and put them in quarantine in the US for another 14 days. South Korea, Australia Hong Kong, Canada and Italy also evacuated their residents.

About Sheba Medical Center

Born together with Israel in 1948, Sheba Medical Center, Tel HaShomer is the largest and most comprehensive medical center in the Middle East. Sheba is the only medical center in Israel that combines an acute care hospital and a rehabilitation hospital on one campus, and it is at the forefront of medical treatments, patient care, research and education. As a university teaching hospital affiliated with the Sackler School of Medicine at Tel-Aviv University, it welcomes people from all over the world indiscriminately. In 2019, Newsweek magazine named Sheba one of the top ten hospitals in the world. For more information, visit: eng.sheba.co.il 

Press Contact:

Kelcey Kintner
kelcey@redbanyan.com
646-391-8001

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SOURCE Sheba Medical Center, Tel HaShomer