Imaging technology moves from defense industry to hospital

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From left to right, Professor Yitshak Kreiss, Director of Sheba Medical Center; Dr. Boris Orkin, director of the Center for Surgical Innovations at Sheba; Eran Bluestein, Director of Business Development at Opgal. Photo courtesy of Sheba Medical Center

Advanced thermal imaging technologies previously used for Israeli military and security purposes will be adapted for use in cardiac surgery, diabetic foot treatment, surgical incision infections and respiratory monitoring at Israel’s largest hospital , Sheba Medical Center in Ramat Gan.

This is the subject of a memorandum of understanding between Sheba and Opgal, a subsidiary of Elbit Systems.

Using thermal cameras originally designed for night vision, doctors can detect physiological processes based on energy and heat changes in the body and display these changes on a digital screen.

For example, this technology can allow doctors and surgeons to accurately identify movement in blood vessels and present a clear picture of the carbon dioxide emitted by exhalation.

“The new relationship between medical excellence and defense industry excellence is revolutionary,” said Professor Eyal Zimlichman, Sheba’s Director of Innovation and Transformation and Head of its Innovation Center ARC (Accelerate, Redesign, Collaborate).

“The solutions developed by the experts from Elbit and Opgal and the doctors from Sheba are not only important for Sheba and Israel, but will have an international impact. These are global solutions to global problems, and we believe there is great potential here to change the face of medicine internationally.

“Thermal technology, which until now has helped pilots take off and land, and soldiers on the battlefield identify threats and targets, has the potential to help medical teams around the world see the invisible and make more accurate diagnoses,” said Tsachi Israel, CEO of Opgal. “We are the top experts in our respective fields, working together to innovate to save lives and prevent suffering for countless patients.”

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