Israeli Health Technology May Inform US Medical Response to COVID-19

June 2, 2020 by Kate Michael
Israeli Health Technology May Inform US Medical Response to COVID-19

Novel technologies are being used around the globe to combat COVID-19. Practical applications of new technologies are poised to make a significant impact in the fight against the virus. Among those is a batch of innovations coming out of Israel, which is now seeing a low uptick in patients since it began lifting restrictions on restaurants, bars, tourist attractions, and other businesses. 

Israel hopes technologies like these will help to squash its second curve, saving lives and businesses.

The focus has mainly been on diagnostic capabilities, though Israeli companies are also keen to assist in making and improving personal protective equipment. 

“Technology can provide a quick and readily available pre-diagnostic assessment of COVID-19 infection without a need for human intervention,” Afeka College President and former tech CEO Ami Moyal, who is central to some unique research, told the Well News. “The technology essentially multiplies human capabilities.”

Among the new tech that Israel is testing are artificial intelligence (AI) and speech recognition products, remote testing diagnostic capabilities, anti-microbial fabrics, and crowdsourced software to create do-it-yourself personal protective equipment. Technologies like these are “essential to identifying likely carriers of the virus at the early stages of infection, in order to prioritize testing efforts and break the chain of COVID-19 transmission,” said Moyal.

Israeli startup Aidoc, founded in 2016, develops full-body AI medical imaging software that is already in use at over 300 medical centers worldwide. Its latest AI product, which has been approved by the FDA, can analyze, detect, and prioritize coronavirus findings from any computerized tomography (CT) scan that contains all or part of the lung. Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, it has often been radiologists that were first to diagnose COVID-19 when outward symptoms were not presenting, and now Aidoc’s radiological AI studies of the chest, abdomen, and cervical spine are accelerating discovery and proving useful to prioritize urgent cases and expedite treatment. 

TytoCare, an Israeli telehealth company, has seen surging demand for its remote medical testing devices as the adoption of telehealth worldwide is at an all-time high. TytoCare’s products perform comprehensive medical exams and then send the gathered information to the patient’s primary care provider, which has been particularly beneficial in monitoring patients infected with the coronavirus both in and out of hospitalized settings. TytoCare’s handheld devices examine the heart, lungs, skin, ears, throat, and abdomen — as well as measuring body temperature — to help medical workers make informed decisions about health care while minimizing physical contact.

Also to suppress the hazards of contact, two Israeli companies are leading a revolution in PPE. Tikkun Olam Makers (TOM), a community of creators of prototypes and tech products that launched in Israel in 2014, is already offering forty DIY designs for masks, face shields, and other safety gear that anyone can download and produce. Another Israel firm, Sonovia Tech, is ameliorating PPE with its creation of an anti-microbial fabric for use in masks, protective clothing, hospital bedding and gowns. Pilot tests have shown this fabric, infused with metal- oxide nanoparticles, to be highly effective in killing germs. Reusable antimicrobial SonoMasks that last through 100 washings have already entered the U.S. market in four sizes. 

In other innovations, Moyal and his team at Israel’s Afeka Centre for Language Processing have been working on speech recognition technology that has the potential to identify potential COVID-19 carriers using voice analysis even before these people are displaying symptoms. Afeka has been “active in speech processing research for over a decade,” says Moyal, “now we are looking at daily usage by the general public.” Researchers have been recording speech samples from COVID-19 patients at different stages of the disease and testing them against a control group of healthy people, as well as a control group of those testing negative for COVID-19, but with other respiratory symptoms. Using new machine learning algorithms and advanced speech processing techniques, Moyal’s team studies the effects of the virus on the human voice to distinguish between those in good health and those potentially carrying COVID-19.

While tech companies all over the world are working to produce innovations to improve diagnostics and combat outbreaks in the COVID-19 pandemic, these examples from Israel are inspiring advancements. As the United States continues to explore reopening in a pandemic environment, technologies just like those being studied and originated in Israel may help American businesses in their dual focus on health and economic recovery.

A+
a-
  • Coronavirus
  • Israel
  • Technology
  • In The News

    Health

    Voting

    Health

    By Defining Sex, Some States Denying Transgender People Legal Recognition

    TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Mack Allen, an 18-year-old high school senior from Kansas, braces for sideways glances, questioning looks and... Read More

    TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Mack Allen, an 18-year-old high school senior from Kansas, braces for sideways glances, questioning looks and snide comments whenever he has to hand over his driver's license, which still identifies him as female. They've come from a police officer responding to a... Read More

    Facing Backlash Over IVF Ruling, Alabama Lawmakers Look for a Fix

    MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Lawmakers began scrambling for ways to protect Alabama in vitro fertilization services after multiple providers paused treatment in... Read More

    MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Lawmakers began scrambling for ways to protect Alabama in vitro fertilization services after multiple providers paused treatment in the wake of a state Supreme Court ruling that frozen embryos could be considered children under a state law. Facing a wave of shock and anger... Read More

    February 26, 2024
    by Jesse Zucker
    Try Heat Therapy to Warm Up This Winter

    WASHINGTON —  As we near the end of February, have you gotten tired of being cold yet? While you wait... Read More

    WASHINGTON —  As we near the end of February, have you gotten tired of being cold yet? While you wait for spring, heat therapy may be just what you need to warm up. If you’ve ever been to a sauna or steam room at a spa... Read More

    February 26, 2024
    by Jesse Zucker
    Breaking Down the Plant-Based Diet

    WASHINGTON — Does the word “diet” have a negative connotation to you? It often gets attached to quick fixes or... Read More

    WASHINGTON — Does the word “diet” have a negative connotation to you? It often gets attached to quick fixes or unsustainable plans that promise to help you “detox” or lose weight. The popular “plant-based diet” may be the one exception. One interpretation simply means eating more... Read More

    February 22, 2024
    by Dan McCue
    Study Finds More Than 40% of Americans Know Someone Who Died by Overdose

    SANTA MONICA. Calif. — More than 40% of Americans have known someone who died of a drug overdose, and about... Read More

    SANTA MONICA. Calif. — More than 40% of Americans have known someone who died of a drug overdose, and about one-third of those individuals say the death disrupted their lives, according to a new study by the Rand Corporation. Researchers with the nonprofit think tank and... Read More

    Silent Brain Changes Precede Alzheimer's. Researchers Have new Clues About Which Come First

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Alzheimer’s quietly ravages the brain long before symptoms appear and now scientists have new clues about the... Read More

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Alzheimer’s quietly ravages the brain long before symptoms appear and now scientists have new clues about the dominolike sequence of those changes — a potential window to one day intervene. A large study in China tracked middle-aged and older adults for 20 years,... Read More

    News From The Well
    scroll top