Vayyar Imaging Ltd., which focuses on 4D radar imaging, reported that the Israeli government is using its sensor technology to fight the spread of COVID-19.
“Vayyar uses 3D imaging to map what is happening in any environment but incorporates a fourth dimension – detecting and analyzing changes over time – to provide the most comprehensive monitoring solution,” Ofer Familier, general manager of Vayyar, told BioWorld.
The Yehud, Israel-based company’s chip creates high-resolution images in real time based on advanced radiofrequency technology. It covers imaging and radar bands from 3GHz-81GHz with 72 transmitters and 72 receivers.
Specifically, the company’s intelligent sensors provide remote, confidential monitoring to detect and assess vital signs that can indicate early-stage COVID-19 symptoms. Of note, the data – to include pulse, heart rate variability and respiratory rate – are all measured remotely, without the need for touching.
Familier went on to note that to help with the current pandemic, the sensors can be put in medical centers and emergency rooms. “They are also an excellent option for monitoring patients during home isolation, as they can alert to unusual behavioral patterns that could indicate a deterioration in health.”
Further, the systems can be situated at public places, such as entrances, factories, public transport, airports and border crossings, for monitoring purposes.
Vayyar is working with MAFAT (Israel's Defense Research & Development Directorate) and Israel's Naval Medical Institute. In a separate move, the Israel National Emergency Team has completed a test in which two systems were adapted for Vayyar sensors to analyze the vital data of patients remotely.
When asked about any feedback from the Israeli government, Familier explained that it is being used by that country’s navy, but he was not able to share additional details publicly at this time. He also acknowledged that the company is speaking with other regulators about rolling out a number of solutions.
Vayyar began in 2011, with an eye toward providing a safe and radiation-free device to create a 3D image of the breast and any tumor. The company noted that it is also affordable and mobile.
“Now, the same high-resolution 4D imaging is being used across a range of industries, including elder care, where it’s used to passively monitor seniors and detect if someone has fallen, or for changes in their activity levels to pre-emptively alert for health deterioration,” Familier said. “In health facilities, such as medical centers and emergency rooms, the solution allows for quick, contactless screening with no staff involvement or sanitation requirements, as well as for patient monitoring during home isolation.”
But the company’s offering has applications outside health care, including smart offices, retail and transportation. “Placed in public spaces, the sensors are able to detect occupancy rates, movement patterns, and provide automation solutions for improved hygiene.”
In addition, it can be used in the automotive industry, both on the exterior and in the car itself. For example, it can monitor if a baby is left in the car or if someone has not buckled his or her seatbelt.
Looking ahead, the company’s 4D tracking could prove helpful as businesses reopen. Familier said the company has received requests about the technology as a way to enforce social isolation and monitoring for crowded areas. “This is not only an essential decision-making tool for governments but will also play an important role in rebuilding public confidence,” Familier concluded.
The company also has attracted the attention of financial backers. In November 2019, the company reported that it closed a $109 million series D financing round led by Koch Disruptive Technologies, with Regal Four and all existing investors, including Battery Ventures, Bessemer Ventures, ICV, ITI, WRVI Capital, Claltech, participating. The funding brought the total capital raised to $188 million. The company earmarked the funds to enhance its core technology, evolve its global footprint, and expand its offerings in key industries.
In addition, the company has facilitated partnerships to develop tailored solutions. It also offers off-the-shelf development kits to help companies develop their own applications in-house. Vayyar also has its own line of consumer products launched under the Walabot brand.