Technion Update: Advancements Against COVID-19

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Technion – Israel Institute of Technology is at the forefront of the fight against COVID-19. Researchers from 50 different labs are developing solutions including vaccine research and therapeutics, personal protective equipment, diagnostics, and assistive technologies for healthcare providers. Despite months of hardship and uncertainty, we have witnessed the power of unity and collaboration. 

“ICU ROOM OF THE FUTURE”

Israel’s Sheba Hospital recently unveiled what they call “the ICU room of the future”. It features many innovative technologies that were developed by Technion alumni including: AnyVision, Vocalis and CLEW Medical. This room maximizes care and comfort while minimizing risk to staff during the Coronavirus pandemic.

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UV LIGHT TO COMBAT COVID-19

Prof. Ido Kaminer

An international team of research scientists, including Prof. Ido Kaminer of the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, advocate the use of ultraviolet light as a “particularly efficient, easily deployable, and economically affordable” way to inactivate the Coronavirus and reduce transmission in indoor spaces. Their findings were recently published in the journal ACS Nano.

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AN ALGORITHM TO IMPROVE COVID-19 TREATMENT

Assistant Prof. Joachim Behar

Assistant Prof. Joachim Behar, head of Technion’s Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, together with Master’s student Jeremy Levy and doctors from Rambam Health Care Campus, have developed a new set of tools to analyze the data collected by oximeters, which monitor oxygen saturation levels in a patient’s blood. Information gathered by oximeters monitoring patients with COVID-19 could help doctors predict deterioration in a patient’s condition.

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99% ACCURATE RAPID HOME TEST 

Prof. Naama Geva-Zatorsky & Team

Prof. Naama Geva-Zatorsky, of Technion’s Faculty of Medicine, is leading a team of researchers in the development of a home kit that would enable people to be quickly and inexpensively tested for the Coronavirus. Without elaborate lab equipment, it has a 99% accuracy rate based on 200 biological samples from patients affected by the virus. Today, her lab is working on improving its sensitivity for detection in low concentrations.

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SURVEILLING SEWERS FOR COVID-19

Using the Internet of Things (IoT), original algorithms, and artificial intelligence, Israeli startup Kando, Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, and Ben-Gurion University have launched a pilot project to detect traces of the novel Coronavirus in the wastewater of Ashkelon. Kando allows experts to pinpoint specific areas affected by the SARS-CoV-2 virus, enabling responses and potentially avoiding total lock-down in the event of a second wave of the Coronavirus.

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BOOSTING MASK EFFECTIVENESS

The unique “Maya” sticker is a 3D-printed sticker, developed by the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, led by Prof. Eyal Zussman. The innovative sticker contains nanofibers coated with antiseptics. Stuck onto surgical masks, the team says the sticker significantly upgrades protection, and is able to capture and kill nano-particles of 99 percent of viruses from droplets that reach the mask.  The next step is mass production for hospitals and the public.

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POOLED TESTING ACCELERATES COVID-19 SCREENING

Researchers at Technion-Israel Institute of Technology announced a successful trial of pooling medical samples and performing simultaneous testing for the presence of the Coronavirus in batches of 32 or 64 samples at a time. Now, the test is undergoing final validation and it should be available for widespread use by winter, when the prevalence of other respiratory diseases will make rapid diagnosis of COVID-19 even more critical.

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DIAGNOSTICS ROBOTICS GOES GLOBAL

Diagnostic Robotics Ltd is an AI-based remote screening platform used by Israel to monitor the spread of COVID-19. It has now been deployed globally, including in the U.S., Western Europe, and Asia. Co-founders Jonathan Amir and Dr. Kira Radinsky, and Prof. Moshe Shoham are all Technion alumni. Prof. Shoham also teaches at Technion’s Faculty of Mechanical Engineering and heads the Kahn Medical Robotics Laboratory.

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CORTICA’S TOUCH-LESS TECH FOR A COVID-19 WORLD

Corsight, a subsidiary of the high-tech company Cortica, launched their touchless AI technology globally. Their high-speed AI facial recognition technology helps medical teams access locked areas without removing protective gear. Emerging from research at the Technion, Cortica was founded by Technion Prof. Yehoshua Zeevi and doctoral graduates, Igal Raichelgauz and Karina Ordinaev.

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Technion breakthroughs in COVID research and technologies have been a source of inspiration and hope throughout the pandemic. When you support the Technion       COVID-19 Emergency Research Fund, you contribute to the success stories that will help us overcome this health crisis as quickly as possible.

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