Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

11 Teves 5766 - January 11, 2006 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly










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Do-It-Yourself Strep Diagnostic Now Available

by Yated Ne'eman Staff

Nili Tamir is the owner of BMT Bio Marketing (Tel/Fax: 04-639- 6116), a company that makes, imports and markets home diagnostic kits. Currently her company sells a kit that allows everyone to do a test for strep throat and have the results immediately.

She told Globes, "I discovered that Israelis had no control over monitoring their own health. We ostensibly live in a modern country that on one hand opposes overuse of antibiotics, and raises people's awareness of their health, but without allowing them to choose alternatives on the other."

Tamir had the idea of developing home diagnostic kits for various illnesses. "I realized that if there was a kit to test for sore throat, cholesterol, or fecal blood, it could help people obtain immediate treatment, saving them a lot of time, suffering, and running about. It would also give them the chance to carry out tests in the privacy of their own homes."

Enthused by her idea, Tamir developed a kit for Strep A, to diagnose the common bacteria infections in the throat. "I bought the chemical components, separated them, repackaged them, and marketed them under a completely new concept," she explains. "This was a kit for instant diagnosis. Within five minutes, it would diagnose whether Streptococcus A was the cause of inflammation in the throat."

A month ago, Tamir launched another kit, called "Lab On Time," designed to test for blood in feces. Here too, the results are available within five minutes. Other kits under development include hepatitis and malaria detection, as well as glucose testing and urinalysis, and more.

Her kits are currently sold at Kupat Holim Meuchedet and Maccabi Healthcare pharmacies, New Pharm Drugstores Ltd., independent pharmacies, NATALI The Israeli Company for Emergency Medical Services, and the Bikur Holim Medical Center. The kits cost NIS 33.70 each, with a discount at health funds.

She is now working on another a line of tests, including fatty acid concentrations in red blood cells, the Prostate- Specific Antigen (PSA) test, and mononucleosis. In contrast to the first kits, these tests will be carried out by a pharmacist at a pharmacy. However, the patient will also have an answer within five to ten minutes.

Globes asked if it might not be dangerous for a person to carry out such a test as for occult blood in the stool and discover that he or she has cancer.

Tamir said that blood in stool is not a fully reliable indicator for cancer, but that it is definitely a warning sign. Anyone getting it would definitely be advised to consult with a doctor as soon as possible.

In any case the results will require a doctor to treat the illness.


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