Thermal imaging to improve surgical techniques – J-Wire

August 14, 2022 by J-Wire Newsdesk

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Israel’s  Sheba Medical Centre has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Opgal, a subsidiary of Elbit Systems, to utilize advanced thermal imaging technologies previously used for military and security purposes.

Prof. Yitshak Kreiss, director of Sheba Medical Centre; Dr. Boris Orkin, director of Sheba’s Surgical Innovations Centre; Eran Bluestein, director for business development at Opgal. (Credit: Sheba Medical Centre)

The integration of the thermal imaging cameras intends to improve the efficiency and efficacy of surgery and treatment in four key areas: heart surgery, diabetic foot treatment, surgical incision infections and respiratory monitoring.

Thermal photography, best known for its role in the world of defence and aerospace, offers significant potential for healthcare. Using thermal cameras, physicians can detect physiological processes based on changes in energy and heat in the body and display these changes on a digital screen. Used in the medical setting, this technology can enable doctors and surgeons to accurately identify the movement of blood vessels and present a clear picture of carbon dioxide being emitted by exhalation.

“The new relationship between medical excellence and excellence in the defense industry is groundbreaking,” said Prof. Eyal Zimlichman, Sheba’s chief innovation and transformation officer, and head of ARC. “The solutions worked on by Elbit and Opgal experts and Sheba doctors are not only significant 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 on an international level.”

Using these new technological developments, Sheba medical teams will be able to receive previously unavailable new information in real time, for the purpose of formulating increasingly accurate medical diagnoses. The photographed materials will also be analyzed at Sheba using artificial intelligence tools and will enter a computerized database for future use by doctors in decision making.

Sheba Medical Centre is leading the digital transformation to advanced digital medicine in Israel and around the world. Sheba, through its innovation arm, ARC (Accelerate, Redesign, Collaborate), is building and maintaining close collaborations and projects with the world’s best hospitals and leading companies in the industry, such as the one with Opgal and Elbit Systems.

“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 worldwide to see the invisible and make more accurate diagnoses,” said Tsachi Israel, CEO of Opgal. “We are the leading experts in our respective fields, working together to innovate in order to save lives and prevent suffering for many patients.”

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