As of Thursday morning, Israel has 100 confirmed cases of COVID-19 infections. And in a bid to stop the disease from spreading and to minimize the exposure of people with compromised immune systems to coronavirus, Magen David Adom is launching a video chat service to prevent people who might be carrying the highly contagious virus from coming into hospitals.
Using video chat, doctors will be able to guide MDA paramedics who respond to calls in people’s homes and consult them in non-urgent cases that do not require hospitalization. This process, the emergency services say, could potentially cut down by a third the number of people brought into the emergency room for treatment.
“We’ve been planning a community medicine program for three years,” says MDA director general Eli Bin. “But the need for this type of initiative has become much more urgent in light of the current coronavirus crisis, where taking a patient to the hospital presents serious risks – especially when the patient might not be severely ill, but can still be highly contagious, potentially putting immunocompromised patients at the hospital in danger.”
Meanwhile, startups and companies around Israel are joining the effort to battle coronavirus by putting forward ingenious solutions to help mitigate the disease.