Sheba Medical Center Selects Startup Technology to Mitigate Risk of Contamination by COVID-19

Mar 19, 2020 | Blood Test, Coronavirus, COVID-19, Diagnostics, Sheba Medical Center, Sight Diagnostics

Sheba Medical Center Selects Startup Technology to Mitigate Risk of Contamination by COVID-19

An Israeli blood diagnostic technology startup showcased by TrialSite News called Sight Diagnostics secured a deal with Sheba Medical Center in Israel to mitigate the risk of contamination by COVID-19. The Israeli provider will utilize the startup’s technology—OLO blood analyzer—to provide rapid full blood count (FBC) results in a dedicated lab within this flagship, government-run hospital. The aim: process samples of infected patients who are being monitored and treated in a separate field hospital.

The Parties Conducted a Two-Month Successful Pilot

This announcement was preceded by a pilot where Sheba Tel Hashomer ran a two-month evaluation at the central lab of Sheba Tel Hashomer, one of the top 10 hospitals in the world. The pilot results led to the implementation of OLO for ongoing FBC testing at the hospital.

The Diagnostic Product: OLO

Now, OLO is used for routine testing of Sheba’s positive coronavirus patients. OLO technology combines computer vision and artificial intelligence (AI) to digitize each blood sample into more than 1,000 high resolution images.

Operationalizing OLO

Prior to the adoption of the OLO diagnostic technology, a health worker would need to take the blood sample from a COVID-19 infected patient with a needle, label the vials of drawn blood and organize and ship those vials to a laboratory, outside of the quarantine zone, for analysis.

According to Dr. Ram Doolman, Director of Sheba’s Laboratories Division and Automated Mega-Laboratory, OLO’s compact design makes it easy to set up quickly in a setting reserved for testing only contagious blood samples. Eliminating the risks of processing these samples alongside regular lab samples is uniquely advantageous in managing outbreaks of highly infectious diseases.” Dr Doolman noted that Sheba Medical Center has established a quarantined lab that is governed by specific protocols authored for the handling of samples from infected patients. He continued, “We are taking the necessary steps to protect our staff who are on the frontlines, fighting the coronavirus epidemic.”

Core Value According to Startup CEO

CEO Yossi Pollak, when describing how the technology helps the health provider, noted, “OLO gives health care providers the ability to use a self-contained cartridge to collect two drops of blood, from either a venous or finger prick sample, insert the cartridge into OLO, and receive FBC results in minutes. For health facilities in countries where OLO is available for point-of-care use, that tactical advantage could make a big difference in a field setting.” Hence, Sight Diagnostics OSO offers raid and accurate blood tests to aid health professionals in diagnosing and treating patients around the world.

Regulatory Approvals

The OLO product has achieved a CE Mark registration from the European directive for performing FBC tests in point of care settings. In the United States, OLO is 501(k) cleared for use in moderate complexity laboratories but it is not cleared for point of care use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Who is Sight Diagnostics?

TrialSite News showcased this small but effective venture out of Israel. We noted that it possibly represented the pragmatic delivery on a vision that Ms. Elizabeth Holmes promoted with her startup, Theranos—which ultimately failed due to misleading investors and customers.  

Founded in 2011, Sight Diagnostics aims to transform health systems and patient outcomes through accurate and pain-free blood diagnostic testing. Their products are based on research and development that span nearly a decade, resulting in breakthrough innovations in diagnostic technology. They have raised over $52 million in at least three venture capital financing rounds, according to the website Crunchbase

Source: BusinessWire

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