While most coronavirus patients have mild or moderate symptoms, one of the challenges in their treatment is that respiratory difficulties can develop rapidly and lead to very serious consequences, including death, if not adequately addressed.Israeli start-up BreatheVision has developed a technology that monitors patients’ breath remotely, thereby minimizing the medical staff’s exposure to the infectious disease. “Our solution features two triangular markers about five centimeters long that need to be placed on the patient’s chest and abdomen to monitor their respiratory rate and depth of breathing,” company CEO and co-founder Menashe Terem told The Jerusalem Post. “The devices have a Bluetooth connection, and the information they collect is calibrated according to several algorithms. In the hospitals, the results are then transmitted to a tablet or a computer, while for patients at home, a smartphone can be used.”“While the patients can wear the two markers also when they are moving around, in a situation of breathing difficulties, the most dangerous moments occur while they are sleeping or sedated,” he said.The system designed for patients with coronavirus and other respiratory issues. The company has worked on asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and has developed algorithms that can identify symptoms related to these conditions. It is currently focusing on COVID-19 and on patients who are recovering from surgery under full anesthesia.BreatheVision was established in 2013 by physicist Ditza Auerbach, the company’s chief technical officer, after she lost her mother, whose respiratory problems worsened suddenly. The lack of monitoring prevented her from being promptly treated.When coronavirus patients go through a respiratory crisis, their body increases its respiratory rate, and after a while it gets tired, Terem said. When this happens, the respiratory rate goes down, and it might fail to provide enough oxygen, causing the death of the patient. For this reason, constant monitoring of these patients is crucial, and the company’s technology helps to achieve it remotely so that doctors and nurses are not constantly exposed to the infection, he said.BreatheVision will soon start a pilot program with Sourasky Medical Center’s Ichilov Hospital in Tel Aviv.“The hospitals we are working with are also considering using the system to monitor patients who are currently in hotels,” Terem said.After completing the pilot at Ichilov, the company plans to launch another two pilots in two hospitals in the United States.BreatheVision has obtained several grants from the Israel Innovation Authority.