The Helsinki Committee of the Meir Hospital of Klalit Health Services has approved an experiment on corona patients with a state-of-the-art technology based on a breath test developed by the Israeli companies Next Gen and Scentech * Afka College is conducting a study to diagnose corona symptoms through voice analysis
Israeli companies Scentech and Next Gen received approval from the Helsinki Committee for breath testing to detect the corona virus
The Helsinki Committee of the Meir Hospital of Klalit Health Services has approved an experiment on corona patients with modern technology based on a breath test developed by the Israeli companies Next Gen and Scentech. The test is conducted in a similar way to the police owl test that allows detection of the ethanol substance found in the blood, so the new test is also expected to detect the biological signs related to the corona virus and the disease it causes, and through a short and simple test to allow diagnosis of the disease in a short period of time.
The stock exchange company Next Gen together with the technologies of the company Scentech Medical, which deals with the detection of volatile organic compounds, teamed up with Meir Hospital to perform the experiment that will allow a corona test by exhalation and is expected to bring positive news in the near future and allow a significant shortening of the times of the tests as conducted today.
The experiment will be carried out on corona patients with different degrees of illness and will try to isolate the gas compounds in exhalation, out of thousands of different gases, related to the virus and the disease itself. The companies explain that this type of test has several advantages that meet the difficulties that medical teams face today in detecting the virus. First, the test will enable identification of patients already in the asymptomatic stage, so that it will be possible to identify the virus in the patient at an early stage and enable its isolation quickly and minimize and even stop the spread of the disease.
In addition, the breath test allows for digital capabilities that will save a lot of time until the results are obtained compared to the equivalent tests that are in use today, thereby significantly increasing the amount of tests and their reliability. Also, the technological ability will make it possible to identify the genetic "fingerprint" of the virus, which will make it possible to find the fingerprint of the next virus in a few weeks, thus saving time and saving lives in the future war against viruses.
"I believe that with the help of the company's technology we will soon be able to identify the signature of the virus and the disease it causes," says Sholem Lapidot, who previously served as the CEO of IDB and was recently appointed chairman of the Next Gen company. which can be transported anywhere such as airports, hotels, tourist sites, football stadiums and more. Our success will help the community and the economy to return to full activity and routine as soon as possible."
"This is a revolutionary technology, which places the field of diagnosis in the initial stages of various disease states and thus contributes to the quality of treatment, reducing the damage of the disease and higher chances of recovery," says Dr. Udi Kantor, the medical director of Scentech Medical, "the news of making the test digital is similar to the transformation that took place in the world of photography, with the transition to digital photography that made it possible to receive a photo and evaluate it immediately after the photo was taken."
Afka College is conducting a study to diagnose corona symptoms using voice analysis
The research is expected to enable an initial, available, convenient and simple testing procedure for rapid diagnosis of the virus, prioritizing tests and stopping the chain of infection. The research is carried out under the leadership of Mpaat in the Ministry of Defense and in cooperation with Rabin Medical Center, Sheba Hospital and other bodies. Prof. Ami Moyal, an expert in speech processing and president of Afka College: "We are proud to take part in the national emergency team to eradicate the corona virus, to contribute to public health and save lives."
The Language Processing Center at Afka College, in collaboration with Rabin Medical Center, Sheba Hospital, high-tech companies and defense development bodies led by Mpaat in the Ministry of Defense are currently conducting groundbreaking research to diagnose initial symptoms of corona by processing the speech and voice characteristics of patients.
The research is being conducted as part of a national effort to eradicate the Corona epidemic and the goal is that at the end of it, a preliminary diagnosis of the patients will be made through the analysis of their voice and speech only, using a dedicated application on the mobile device. In this way, it will be possible to reach the target audience that needs to be tested in a simple and quick way, to increase the effectiveness of the testing processes, to diagnose corona infections already in the first stages of the disease and to stop the chain of infection.
These days, voice and speech samples (recordings) are being collected from corona patients in various stages of the disease as well as from healthy people. Another group participating in the study is a control group of people who suffer from symptoms in the respiratory system (such as flu symptoms) but are not corona patients in order to allow a distinction between corona patients and patients with other diseases with identical symptoms. The goal is to create a database that will be used for research.
By using this database it will be possible to process the information with a variety of tools, advanced speech processing techniques as well as deep learning as part of artificial intelligence algorithms. The main goal, beyond studying the effect of the corona virus on speech and the human voice, is to enable an initial diagnosis between healthy people and potential patients.
This is not the first time that Afka College is involved in helping the Ministry of Defense with national projects. In 2014, as part of the "Return Brothers" operation, the researchers of the Language Processing Center at Afka College analyzed the recording of the call to the police station of the late Gil-Ad Shaar and assisted in the analysis of the kidnapping of the three young men.
Prof. Ami Moyal, speech processing expert and president of Afka College: "Afka College is proud to take part in the mobilization for the national challenge to eradicate the corona virus. At the Center for Language Processing, research has been going on for about a decade in the field of speech processing, within the framework of which various tools have been developed for use in the medical field to diagnose diseases and examine their progress. We are happy to put Afka College's knowledge, experience and tools in the field to the benefit of a national project. This innovative algorithm will be a breakthrough in the initial identification of the symptoms of the virus, will help target the population groups that need to be tested quickly while effectively using the existing testing tools. I hope that the impressive and unique collaboration led by Mapat will lead to results as soon as possible and thus contribute to public health in Israel as well as prepare for similar challenges in the future."