Virusight Diagnostic, a newly formed Joint Venture of Sheba Medical Center’s ARC Innovation Center & Newsight Imaging, has signed a strategic LOI (letter of intent) for rapid screening of airline passengers with ICTS Europe, a leading security provider at major airports in Europe and all over the world.
Newsight Imaging’s portable spectral analysis device – SpectraLIT – can identify COVID-19 in seconds, using a simple oral mouth rinse.
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People are scared, commerce is drying up, many are out of work, and the global tourism industry is dying all because of the Covid-19 pandemic. Israel has been hit especially hard by this. The pandemic has forced it to require all international travelers, both visitors and returning citizens, to observe a fourteen-day quarantine upon entering the country.
To make matters worse, Israel cannot even benefit right now from domestic tourism during its holiday season as Israelis would have filled hotels and vacations spots all over the country since they cannot travel abroad, in part, making up for lost foreign tourism. The country was forced to enter a new Covid-19 lockdown just before the Rosh Hashanah holiday. As of now, all hotels, beaches, places of entertainment, restaurants, and more must be closed for the three week holiday season.
So everyone is praying for some sort of immediate and accurate testing for Covid-19. If only such a new test had been available months ago. People could board planes knowing that no one on board was a carrier and then enter any other country without the need for a quarantine. But current tests take days for results, are costly and have a high rate of false negatives.
Virusight and ICTS Europe have agreed to start a set of supervised pilot programs at targeted airports in an effort to open up world travel again. They assert that tests will be “immediate, affordable and monitored, so that airports and airlines can optimize the level of safety by mitigating the risk of COVID-19 infection.” Following the pilot’s completion and analysis, a wide deployment of the technology is expected.
“Tests will be immediate, affordable and monitored, so that airports and airlines can optimize the level of safety by mitigating the risk of COVID-19 infection. Following the pilot’s completion and analysis, a wide deployment of the technology is expected in airports across ICTS Europe’s existing infrastructure, utilizing Virusight’s imaging technology backed by ARC at Sheba Medical Center,” the company said in a statement.
Oren Sapir, ICTS Europe’s President & CEO commented, “Since the outbreak of COVID-19, ICTS Europe has played an important role in supporting the aviation community, by assisting with recovery via our Back in the Air initiative – a package of innovative solutions aimed at boosting confidence amongst passengers and stakeholders. As travel restrictions are gradually lifted, innovation and technology will continue to be central to the industry’s recovery, and so we are proud and extremely pleased to join forces with Virusight to unveil SpectraLIT™ – a ground-breaking COVID-19 screening solution, powered by unique machine-learning and AI capabilities.”
Sapir added, “Thanks to its flexibility, SpectraLIT™ can be tailored to meet the specific needs of each individual airport, airline or any other organization who may be looking to integrate screening capabilities into its operations. SpectraLIT™ not only complements our existing range of solutions, but also has all the required components to become a key feature in our Back in the Air initiative. We chose Virusight due to its proven diagnostic track record. Combined with ICTS operational expertise, SpectraLIT™ is set to become the industry’s benchmark for passenger screening against COVID-19.”
Dr. Eyal Zimlichman, Chief Medical Officer and Chief Innovation Officer at Sheba Medical Center stated, “This agreement, is an important milestone for the company, digital health will transform healthcare and this is yet another example of leveraging AI technology to mitigate COVID-19. We formed ARC, our innovation model with the aim to accelerate innovation through redesign healthcare by collaborating with partners. This is an active example of the model at work.”