A new and advanced robot costing approximately NIS 900,000 ($260,000) has been provided by the Health Ministry and is being used since last week to accelerate and improve the coronavirus testing process at the Baruch Padeh Medical Center in Poriya, just south of T’veria.
The new robot performs part of the testing process and helps increase the laboratory’s output to 1,200 tests a day.
Dr. Avi Peretz, director of the Microbiology Laboratory and the Coronavirus Lab noted: “Our lab is active 24 hours a day throughout the week. Even before we got the new robot, we reached a very high output of 700 tests a day. With the robot we can increase the output to 1,200 tests as well as significantly shorten the testing process. The average time to produce results has been about seven hours so far, now we can reach the result in just three hours.”
Dr. Peretz added that 96 sets of samples can be tested in each round of testing performed by the new robot.
Dr. Hagar Mizrahi, acting director of the medical center, noted: “The introduction of the innovative robot and fundraising for the construction of another laboratory are part of a series of steps we are pursuing in the spirit of the medical center’s vision, and aim to continue to improve and develop quality medical services for the residents of northern Israel.”
The Baruch Padeh Medical Center lab performs hundreds of daily tests beyond those taken from hospital patients, including samples obtained by MDA and area HMOs’ medical offices. To date, more than 20,000 tests have been performed at the medical center.