SES joins consortium to fight Ebola with mobile lab

SES satellite company announced a partnership with the consortium that runs B-LiFE a mobile lab to help fight the Ebola virus. | SES

SES, a satellite communications company, announced on Monday that it was teaming up with a collaborative group that runs a mobile laboratory to improve response time in the fight against the Ebola virus.

B-LiFE, a mobile laboratory, is run through a consortium between the public, private and academic sectors in Belgium. The group is trying to increase identification of diseases for a quicker response to crisis situations such as the Ebola epidemic.

SES said the partnership with B-LiFE will complement agreements in Luxembourg's satellite-based rapid response platform.

“B-LiFE demonstrates the relevance of satellite for medical purposes,” Gerhard Bethscheider, managing director of SES TechCom, said. “After successfully launching the telemedicine platform SATMED for the Luxembourg government and our information channel Fight Ebola TV, SES is proud to contribute to B-LiFE and enhance the international engagement for the creation and roll-out of powerful and effective e-medicine orientated applications.”

The B-LiFE lab can be deployed quickly to assist with diagnostic tests for patients and uses genetic testing techniques to identify possible biological agents.

It is anticipated that the lab, which left Belgium on Saturday, will be stationed at an Ebola treatment center in Guinea that was set up by ALIMA, a French non-government organization. Staff operating B-LiFE will conduct clinical tests on the effects of new drugs in the hopes of developing new treatments for the Ebola virus.