Israel Offers Gov'ts Immediate, Free Access to Advanced Tech for Fighting Coronavirus

An artificial intelligence-based diagnostic solution and a government app are among 100 Israeli technologies for fighting the virus showcased in a new directory launched by Israeli innovation NGO Start-Up Nation Central.

Israel’s innovators are offering immediate and free access to cutting-edge technologies successfully implemented in Israel, which could help other countries fight the spread of COVID19. 

One of these leading technologies is an advanced, nationwide, AI-based triage platform that provides health officials with daily monitoring of the progress of the disease. Originally developed by Israeli company Diagnostic Robotics and adapted to tackle the current pandemic, the platform also offers an analytics tool that produces risk assessment and predictive spreading models which allow for quick medical response. 
 
Diagnostic Robotics’ solution leverages data provided by the public remotely, helping individuals determine the right course of action while minimizing direct contact with medical teams and easing the burden on healthcare staff. 
 
Healthcare providers engage their clients with a simple symptoms questionnaire via a text message. This remote screening process, visualized via a high-resolution epidemiologic heat-map, enables health officials to gain an ongoing, large-scale assessment of the virus’ spreading rate and locations that warrant immediate attention. 
 
The AI analytics components of the solution add another layer, providing officials with spreading trends and predictive analysis, which allow them to build models and quickly intervene before communities and health facilities are overwhelmed with infected individuals. For example, the system identified hundreds of patients with early COVID-19 symptoms who were not isolated, providing them with guidance and alerting their healthcare providers. 
 
The Diagnostic Robotics solution is currently being implemented in Israel in cooperation with the Israeli Ministry of Health, HMOs, Magen David Adom and other emergency services. The public is asked to fill out anonymous questionnaires every day and alert of any health symptoms associated with COVID-19. So far, within a single day, 25% of the Israeli population received questionnaires, and 80% of recipients filed them out.
 
Diagnostic Robotics founders Dr. Kira Radinsky, Prof. Moshe Shoham and Yonatan Amir have decided to join the global effort and provide other countries with free access to their technology. The company has already been contacted by official from the US, Italy, Brazil, Austria, the Netherlands and other counties. 
 
"We wish to contribute to any country’s efforts and help in any way we can in these challenging times," said Dr. Radinsky, a world-renowned expert in AI, whose work predicted the cholera outbreak in Cuba. "We want to help as many countries as possible, and offer our support during this crisis. We are honored to share the technological platform and the knowledge we’ve gained from a nationwide coronavirus monitoring system deployed in Israel."
 
Another such technology is "HaMagen" (The Shield) – an open-source mobile application developed by the Israeli government, which helps maintain social distancing and slow the spread of the virus. It uses historic location data of infected individuals from the Ministry of Health to alert app users who have crossed paths with someone infected with COVID-19. Location-based app "HaMagen" was downloaded by more than 1 million Israeli mobile users within 48 hours following a nationwide advertising campaign that asked alerted users to quarantine themselves pending medical consultation.
 
Initiated by the Israeli Ministry of Health, "HaMagen" developers created the app using open-source tools so it can be easily and quickly deployed in other countries. The app was developed by volunteers from IL Dev community and top Israeli cyber and privacy specialists to ensure the user’s personal and location data remains on their mobile devices and is not available to others; the operators of the app cannot trace infected individuals without their knowledge.  
 
After its successful implementation in Israel, Morris Dorfman, Deputy Director General of the Ministry of Health, who is in charge of information systems and technology, offers the app to other countries: "I invite my colleagues around the world to take this open-source app and implement it for their own needs, at no cost. We will be happy to assist in its adoption." The app is already available in several languages: English, French, Arabic, Russian and Hebrew. Several countries have already inquired about the possibility of adopting the app. 
 
"HaMagen" and the Diagnostic Robotics solutions are only two examples among 100 Israeli technological innovations currently emerging to help in the global fight against the coronavirus pandemic. A variety of MedTech solutions are listed in the new Israeli technologies in the fight against coronavirus directory, launched over the past week by Israel’s Start-Up Nation Central (SNC) – an independent nonprofit organization that builds global bridges to Israeli innovation.
 
Prof. Eugene Kandel, CEO of Start-Up Nation Central: "Israel has extensive experience in times of emergency, as well as innovative thinking that can be leveraged to cope with the coronavirus crisis around the globe. Start-Up Nation Central is ready to help as much as needed to make these life-saving technologies accessible."
 

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