Radar & Optical Sensors to Remotely Monitor COVID-19

Fighting COVID-19: a Device that Combines Radar and Optical Sensors for Remote Monitoring of Patients Vital Signs 

Dr. Yonatan Savir

Research at Technion in collaboration with the National Emergency Team of the Defense Ministry’s Directorate of Defense R&D (DDR&D) developed a system to remotely measure vital signs of patients to help in the fight against COVID-19. 

The new technology combines radars and optical sensors and enables medical teams to measure a patient’s vital signs without endangering their own health. 

The vital signs are monitored using a thermal imaging method developed by Dr. Yonatan Savir of Technion’s Rappaport Faculty of Medicine together with radar technology developed at Elbit and Elta. 

Implementing the new technology will be of great benefit to the medical staff performing triage on suspected infected corona patients upon their arrival at the hospital emergency room. In the future, the technology could be used for rapid detection of sick people at the entrance to public places such as stores, workplaces, and army bases, without requiring physical contact between the person and the tester, and without the need for trained medical personnel. In addition, the accuracy of the test is not affected by lighting conditions. 

The innovative technology is based on deep learning research conducted in Savir’s lab. It uses unique algorithms that extract precise data from simple and inexpensive thermal imaging cameras. The problem with these cameras is that they are not as precise as expensive sophisticated thermal imaging cameras. The Savir breakthrough overcomes this limitation, making it possible to obtain reliable and precise data from inexpensive thermal cameras. 

Dr. Yonatan Savir is a faculty member in the Rappaport Faculty of Medicine. He earned a dual BSc from Technion in Physics and Electrical Engineering, and MSc and Ph.D. degrees in Theoretical Physics from the Weizmann Institute of Science, followed by a postdoc at Harvard Medical School. The Savir Lab conducts interdisciplinary research that combines biophysics, systems biology and deep learning.  

The research was conducted in partnership with Neteera, Vayyar, EchoCare Technologies, Rabin Medical Center, and was led by Brig.-Gen. Yaniv Rotem of the Defense Ministry’s Directorate of Defense R&D (DDR&D) and the Sensor Systems team headed by Col. A., and additional research groups from academia and the IDF.