Thermography, Israeli defense technology, adapted for medical purposes

Israeli thermal imaging technology – or thermography – designed to track down terrorists and defend borders, has a new purpose: it will allow doctors to get a clearer view of what is going on in patients’ bodies.

Sheba Hospital has signed a new agreement to reallocate thermal imaging technologies that were previously reserved for military and security purposes. The deal was signed this week between Sheba and Opgal, a subsidiary of Elbit Systems.

Thermography is used on a limited basis in the healthcare sector, but Dr Boris Orkin, of Sheba Hospital, told the Times of Israel that the new agreement could lead to advances to make this technology as common as stethoscopes.

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“Thermal imaging cameras may be as ubiquitous as stethoscopes, and there may well be a device in every doctor’s pocket,” he said. Times of Israel Dr. Orkin, director of the Surgical Innovations Center at Sheba Hospital, in charge of developing new uses for this technology.

According to him, thermal imaging cameras can help address a range of challenges in the field of human imaging, including helping doctors better perceive ongoing physiological processes in the body based on changes in energy and heat. in the body, displayed on a digital screen.

From left to right, Professor Yitshak Kreiss, Director of Sheba Hospital, Dr Boris Orkin, Director of the Surgical Innovations Center at Sheba Hospital, and Eran Bluestein, Director of Business Development at Opgal, reviewing thermography technology. (Credit: Courtesy of Sheba Hospital)

Orkin said that used in a medical setting, this technology can have many applications, including helping doctors and surgeons accurately identify the movement of blood vessels and presenting a clear picture of the carbon dioxide emitted during expiry.

Elbit Systems is one of Israel’s largest defense companies, and Orkin said openness to the reuse of one of its subsidiaries’ considerable thermal imaging technology could lead to “major breakthroughs” in the health sector.

Tsachi Israel, CEO of Opgal, commented that “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,” adding that he hopes to work with Sheba Hospital Center to “innovate to save lives and prevent the suffering of many patients. . »

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