The Sheba Medical Center at Tel Hashomer, Israel has started the world’s largest study that will aim at detecting of COVID-19 within the surface of the eye, without an invasive approach.
According to the announcement, the hospital will be testing if the Tear Film Imager (TFI) developed by the Israeli company AdOM Advanced Optical Technologies, which takes a noninvasive measurement of the tear film, can effectively diagnose and determine if a person is infected with COVID, and has started recruiting volunteers for the same.
The study that is expected to last for 30 days will enroll 500 volunteers, and the study will compare the accuracy of using the TFI to taking a PCR test. If successful, the company would apply for regulatory approval. TFI quantifies the dynamic properties of the tear-film inner layers using a single non-contact measurement while allowing individuals to blink naturally. The whole measurement process takes about 40 seconds per eye.
“The world needs new diagnostic tools to help assess aggressive viruses in a non-invasive manner with speed and efficiency,” said AdOM CTO Raanan Gefen. “However, the test also needs to meet the rigors of high sensitivity, which is the hallmark of an approvable diagnostic device. Different SARS variants, as well as aggressive flu variants, are threatening the world population, and we are developing the TFI virus-detection technology for high sensitivity within these large groups.”