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Israel Says Launched Voice-test Study to Detect COVID-19

Israel Says Launched Voice-test Study to Detect COVID-19

Wednesday, 25 March, 2020 - 05:45
Health Ministry inspectors speak with a woman who is in self quarantine as a precaution against coronavirus spread in Hadera, Israel March 16, 2020 (photo credit: REUTERS/RONEN ZEVULUN)
Asharq Al-Awsat

Israeli Defence Ministry said on Tuesday it launched an analysis of coronavirus patients’ voices that could yield a “vocal fingerprint” to help detect COVID-19 symptoms in patients.

A startup company working with hospitals and academic institutions will kick off this week sampling voices of confirmed coronavirus patients through a mobile application.

“These voice samples will be analyzed using an AI (Artificial Intelligence)-based algorithm in order to identify the unique vocal ‘fingerprint’, the ministry said in a statement.

Tal Wenderow, President and CEO of Vocalis Health, the company that developed the mobile app, said that the algorithm would be used for remote diagnosis and monitoring.

At this stage, the app would only be used by medical staff together with the patients taking part in the study, but the company’s website allows for anyone to take part and send a voice sample to the researchers.

The ministry said the monitoring system “can be conducted from afar, in order to prevent the spread of the disease and overburdening of the national healthcare system.”

Initial results of the study were expected within six weeks, Reuters reported.

This come as part of a research project led by the ministry as Israeli authorities reported more than 1,600 coronavirus cases and three fatalities.

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