Review Article

Technological Developments and Strategic Management for Overcoming the COVID-19 Challenge within the Hospital Setting in Israel

Aharon (Ronnie) Abbo, Asaf Miller, Talya Gazit, Yonatan Savir, and Oren Caspi


The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has remarkably challenged health care organizations and societies. A key strategy for confronting the disease implications on individuals and communities was based on harnessing multidisciplinary efforts to develop technologies for mitigating the disease spread and its deleterious clinical implications. One of the main challenging characteristics of COVID-19 is the provision of medical care to patients with a highly infective disease mandating the use of isolation measures. Such care is complicated by the need for complex critical care, dynamic treatment guidelines, and a vague knowledge regarding the disease’s pathophysiology. A second key component of this challenge was the over¬whelming surge in patient burden and the relative lack of trained staff and medical equipment which required rapid re-organization of large systems and augmenting health care efficiencies to unprecedented levels. In contrast to the risk management strategies employed to mitigate other serious threats and the billions of dollars that are invested in reducing these risks annually by governments around the world, no such preparation has been shown to be of effect during the current COVID-19 pandemic. Unmet needs were identified within the newly opened COVID-19 departments together with the urgent need for reliable information for effective decision-making at the state level. This review article describes the early research and development response in Israel under the scope of in-hospital patient care, such as non-contact sensing of patients’ vital signs, and how it could potentially be weaved into a practical big picture at the hospital or national level using a strategic management system. At this stage, some of the described technologies are still in developmental or clinical evidence generation phases with respect to COVID-19 settings. While waiting for future publications describing the results of the ongoing evidence generation efforts, one should be aware of this trend as these emerging tools have the potential to further benefit patients as well as caregivers and health care systems beyond the scope of the current pandemic as well as confronting future surges in the number of cases.

Rambam Maimonides Med J 2020;11(3):e0026