At the Women’s Health Innovation Center located in the Sheba Medical Center, Tel Hashomer Hospital in Israel breakthroughs are happening that may have a huge impact on the health of women worldwide.
It could be that soon we will be seeing many assessments like fetal or gestational diabetes check-ups and perhaps even the monitoring of a baby’s heart at the time of contractions being done remotely. This could happen as a result of new “telemedicine and digital health products” being developed at this Women’s Innovation Center. Very exciting news. For the majority, far more exciting than winning an Intertops poker bonus!
Female technology center (Femtec)
This female technology center, was initially set up to encourage patient – doctor safety during the pandemic and was under the auspices of the ARC Innovation Center. The director of the Josef Buchmann Gynecology and Maternity Center in Sheba Hospital, Dr. Zvi Tsur, who is an expert in OBGYN and high-risk pregnancies, is sure that these telemedicine innovations will likely become routine procedures for women’s health.
He says “Only a few good things came from the Covid-19 spread, and one of them is definitely remote care. Even after Covid-19 ends, we won’t return to things we used to do. Now that we know we can treat many of our patients at home, we will never return to wasting their time and bringing them to the hospital and where they may be infected.”
Numerous trials are in process at The Women’s Health Innovation Center, looking at the ways in which many medical procedures are currently handled. For example, high risk pregnancies, postpartum check- ups, IVF treatments, contraception, gynecologic oncology and many other related medical evaluations.
According to Dr. Tsur “Because of Covid-19, we made this extra effort to develop a new paradigm for remote medical care.”
The ARC Innovation Center is always collaborating with digital health organizations in order to cultivate new technologies and find answers to medical concerns. Medical professionals at the Women’s Health Innovation Center work with technical experts from many fields, such as artificial intelligence, precision medicine and also telemedicine in order to find ways to improve women’s health treatments.
There are many developments in the works that will be adapted to a range of disciplines within the field of women’s health all over the globe. For instance, Dr. Tsur says that they are testing out new ways that could enable women with high- risk pregnancies to remain at home and monitor themselves from there. “Remote monitoring of vital signs, blood count and glucose, fetal monitoring and sonographic evaluation all reduce the need for high-risk and post-date pregnant women to attend the clinic in person, while the situation is constantly assessed either by Al methods or by an obstetrician who is online.”
Dr. Tsur also said that an app for women with gestational diabetes is being developed by the hospital which will allow them to assess themselves in “just 30 minutes instead of spending a whole morning in the hospital.”
Another trial is underway that involves telemedicine to release women after approximately 8 hours after child birth instead of the usual 36-38 hours now required.
Clinicians are sometimes surprised by some of these new developments that have arisen in the wake of the coronavirus. Tzur says “When we presented some of the ideas for the first time, they were surprised. How can it be? How can a woman perform an ultrasound on herself? When will we receive the imaging? Even with my motivation, even I think about some of these things as, ‘how can it be”. But the pandemic, it seems, has propelled us to create solutions.
Therefore, doctors at the Women’s Health Innovation Center are now able to do image-sharing. A clinician doing an ultrasound in one clinic can share the imaging in real time online, and gain guidance from experts around the world.
For Dr Tsur, providing patients with the optimal treatment is the main focus, so he is a little wary of relying on remote treatments. “Telemedicine creates new challenges because part of our clinical skill depends on being in the same room with the patient. I think that we need to leverage the new technology so as to overcome the associated disadvantages. Clearly, we will never compromise. Telemedicine is meant to enhance treatment; when the need arises, we will convert a telemedicine visit to a real visit.”
Dr. Tsur spent three years, until recently, at Stanford Medical Center as a research and clinical fellow. He says “If we want to help the world, then we need to show that it has the ability to work in other places.” For him, collaborations domestically and globally are the key to creating a new model in the female tech arena. According to Tsur, “Our ability to collaborate with Stanford, University of Texas and UCSF, as well as other places in the world, allows us to develop and validate our models to work for the general population. That’s important.”
According to the Times of Israel, Sheba Medical Center entered into a partnership with Holy Name Medical Center in Teaneck New Jersey, in October which will see them creating telemedicine and digital health items and other technologies.
Michael Maron, the CEO of Holy Name Medical Center said, “Working in tandem with Sheba will enable us to participate in an open collaboration with world leaders in global healthcare innovation, all of us working together to find new and innovative ways to deliver patient care.” He went onto say that “Every collaboration brings additional advantages and we are really excited about collaborations with other hospitals, universities, high-tech companies, corporations. If we can help improve women’s health, we’re happy to collaborate.”