HONG KONG – Israel-based Vayyar Imaging Ltd. and Hong Kong-based Meditemi Co. Ltd. have teamed up to create a more intelligent care robot that provides a range of remote monitoring capabilities, including early detection of COVID-19 symptoms.
The Meditemi robot will be outfitted with Vayyar’s 4D intelligent RF sensors, which act as hands-off identifiers of indicators of COVID-19 symptoms.
When a person comes near the robot or stands within a meter of it, the robot performs a quick, remote scan to analyze their heart rate (BPM), respiratory rate (RPM) and temperature.
Subsequently, the dashboard on the robot shows the key vital signs, and the COVID-19 infection risk level in real-time with very high levels of accuracy.
“In public environments the robot is programmed to either approach people who are entering a building or scan people's temperature in any predetermined area set by you. The Vayyar sensor works together with the robot to detect key vitals such as RPM and BP,” Rotem Geslevich, the director of business development for Vayyar, told BioWorld.
“As crowds approach an area such as a building entrance, public transportation zone, etc., it scans individuals and delivers results in 10 seconds. On its dashboard the robot displays either a green, orange or red screen, so the person being scanned knows if they can enter, need to take another test, or get more thoroughly checked.”
She believes the robot solution can be placed in a variety of locations, including businesses, homes, public transportation (airports, train stations, buses, etc.), hospitals, trade shows, or just about any public entrance. It is suited for outdoor usage as it can function in any environmental conditions and is unaffected by line-of-sight or lighting.
According to Vayyar, the robotic health care solution is being used by the Israeli Navy's medical facilities and different hospitals in Israel to detect early symptoms of COVID-19 without the need for face-to-face contact with patients. The company believes this can help hasten the return to normalcy and increase public confidence when deployed in the public sector.
"Following successful collaborations with Israel's Ministries of Defense and Health, we are thrilled to be coupling our health sensor technology with Meditemi to provide solutions to bring people back to work and also help monitor our parents and grandparents at their homes," said Ofer Familier, the general manager of Vayyar Home.
Useful in senior care facilities
The robot can also provide alerts for health deterioration and falls.
“In the home environment, the robot can measure senior’s vital signs. Now, coupled together with a Vayyar sensor, the system can detect if a senior has fallen and call for help. The robot can approach the person on the floor, help them stand up and launch a video call through the robot's dashboard screen,” said Geslevich.
She believes this means the robot makes for a particularly robust fall detection and health monitoring system for senior care facilities.
“Our sensors detect falls immediately and contacts caregivers through a VoIP call that opens a two-way communication. Our dashboard provides real-time updates and alerts about every resident at once. Its capabilities include analyzing daily behavioral patterns to detect irregularities that can suggest health deterioration,” said Geslevich.
Frontline health care worker protection
It can also help protect frontline health care workers.
"The Meditemi robot together with Vayyar technology will help doctors and nurses in providing treatment and giving advice to patients without touching or getting close to the patient in order to reduce virus infection risks for medical personnel," said Rafael Aviram, the president and chief executive officer of Meditemi.
The company also addressed the privacy concerns that may arise from its digital solution.
“Vayyar sensors use radio waves. A key benefit is that this technology does not require cameras of any kind, so it protects privacy even in sensitive locations such as a business environment or a home, and the fall detection application can be used in environments like bedrooms and bathrooms and beyond,” said Geslevich.
Vayyar was originally founded to detect early-stage cancer using non-ionizing, affordable RF technology that can see into human tissue. This is an area the company continues to develop to this day.
Geslevich did not rule out the possibility that there are other indications that the robot could be deployed for.
“Our current focus is on detecting early signs of COVID-19 symptoms and providing fall detection and alerts in home environments. There are a variety of other possibilities that open up when you combine 4D imaging sensors with the Meditemi robot, including domains such as smart offices, advanced home care and more,” she said.