A device invented by a doctor at ALYN Hospital in Jerusalem is at the most months away from being used to help treat patients with coronavirus in China, according to its inventor, Dr. Eliezer Be’eri.CoughSync, invented 10 years ago by Be’eri to help treat physically challenged and disabled children, adolescents and young adults at ALYN – the Hebrew acronym for the Association for the Care of Disabled Children – was developed into a working device by an Israeli start-up. Then, three years ago, when the team was looking for a manufacturer and additional funding, Beijing-based Ruxin Medical Systems stepped in. Since then, Ruxin has been moving the device forward. Now, with the Covid-19 epidemic spreading rapidly across China – close to 60,000 people have been diagnosed with the virus and at least 1,523 people have died of the disease in the world’s most populous country as of Saturday – Ruxin reached out to the country’s National Medical Products Administration to speed up its regulatory approval process and get the device into hospitals and helping patients.“We are in an advanced stage of the regulatory process in China and hope to have approval within a few months," said Danbei Xu, CEO of Ruxin Medical Systems. CoughSync simulates a normal cough, clearing secretions from one’s airways.“If you have someone on a ventilator, the standard way to remove secretions from their airways is that a nurse disconnects the patient from the ventilator and puts a catheter in to suction up the secretions,” Be’eri explained.The alternative developed and used by ALYN is cough simulation.“What happens when you cough? You take a deep breath of air in and rapidly expel the air, which clears the secretions because the airflow is so fast,” Be’eri said. “CoughSync connects to the ventilator and works in synchrony. The ventilator gives the person a breath in, and the suction device sucks the air out rapidly as if the patient coughed, bringing the secretions up without disconnecting the ventilator.“It is a completely noninvasive method of clearing secretions that reproduces normal physiology,” he concluded.The device could prove essential when treating patients with coronavirus.First, it saves precious staff time by removing secretions automatically instead of a nurse having to do it manually, essential in the case of a mass outbreak like the current one.Second, Be’eri said it could decrease the spread of the contagion.“Not having nurses deal with patients directly in terms of their secretions could decrease the infectivity of the virus,” he said.A benefit for all patients – and not just those with the coronavirus – is that the device could make ventilation more effective so patients can be weaned off ventilators more quickly.The device is already approved for use in Europe. As soon as China approves its manufacturing, which Be’eri said Ruxin expects could happen within weeks to at most months, then it will be used in China. After that, he said he hopes Israel will approve its use, too.Be’eri made a video last week to help support the fast-tracking of its approval in China, which was widely disseminated on the Internet and picked up by Israeli media.He noted that his device is just one of the many developed at ALYN, which three years ago launched an innovation center to create new devices for helping people with disabilities.“My device comes on the backdrop of innovation being the general approach at ALYN,” he said.Celia Jean contributed to this report.