In the past few years, telemedicine has been at the forefront of medical innovation. Now a device developed by the Netanya start-up Tyto Care is going to help the Sheba Medical Center, Tel Hashomer, monitor the 12 Israelis returning from the coronavirus-stricken cruise ship Diamond Princess while minimizing the staff’s exposure to the potential infection.The Israelis are scheduled to arrive at Sheba on Thursday and will spend a period in isolation at the facility after two weeks on quarantine on board the ship that has registered 540 cases of the disease as of Wednesday. Three other Israeli citizens who tested positive to the virus remain hospitalized in Japan. The Tyto device, connected with an app which can be downloaded on both Android and IOS operating smartphones, allows people without any medical background or experience to carry out examinations of heart, lungs, throat, ears, skin, abdomen, heart rate, and body temperature. The tests can be conducted also by the patients on themselves. As for the lungs, one of the most sensitive areas to detect possible symptoms of the coronavirus, the tool offers a digital stethoscope that can auscultate the respiration and detect possible signs of infection.“The 12 patients who will be quarantined will get a Tyto device. It will allow Sheba doctors to remotely examine the patients, doing a full physical exam with our set of connected devices,” Sheba said in a statement.The statement emphasized that a final diagnosis of the coronavirus presence is reached only through a lab test.Established in 2012, Tyto allows patients to perform the examination to check the quality of the data collected, including images and sounds, through the app on the smartphone, which also offers the instructions to follow, and to carry out the test again, if needed.The employment of their devices by the quarantined Israelis would mark the first cooperation between the company and the hospital, but Tyto is already used by tens of thousands of people across the world, as its director of strategic accounts, Eyal Baum, told The Jerusalem Post.“One of our partners is the Clalit system in Israel, and we have many others in the US and in Europe. We usually partner with health systems such as insurance companies or other health providers that are interested in offering telemedical services to their patients, or even employers who include this opportunity in the benefits they offer to their employees. However, we also have a partnership with Best Buy, so anyone in the US can buy one of our devices,” he said.At Best Buy, the product costs $299, but in Israel some health insurance companies subsidize part of the price, Baum highlighted.Asked who are the physicians examining the results of the tests performed with Tyto and available to the patients, he explained that health systems provide their own doctors, while in the case of patients who buy the device privately at Best Buy, they stipulated an agreement with the US telemedicine company American Well and their daughter company LiveHealth Online to provide the doctors for them.“We believe Tyto can offer very important benefits to the health system to screen and identify patients affected by the coronavirus [on] a large scale. This is a consumer product for families, babies and the elderly. It has the potential to allow masses of people to be monitored remotely in a very efficient way. It is a very effective tool for a situation where you don’t want to put people together in a room, with the goal to prevent the disease from spreading,” Baum said.At this stage, the company is not working in China. However, one of its main investors is the Hong Kong-based Ping An Global Voyager Fund.“One of their daughter companies is the largest telemedicine provider in China. We are in conversation with them, we see a potential,” he told the Post.Tyto devices have already been delivered to Sheba, and the doctors have been trained.“Everything is ready for the patients to arrive,” Baum concluded.