Israel's Defense Ministry has recruited an Israeli start-up to screen providers as it continues to procure medical equipment from around the world in the fight against the coronavirus outbreak.
The start-up, Qlarium, uses a system based on artificial-intelligence (AI) to give an intelligence picture about the reliability of suppliers, with an emphasis on the Chinese market. The company gathers information from a range of different sources in Chinese and translates them to compile a report on the supplier.
Within several minutes, the technology allows decision makers in the Procurement Department to clarify the reliability of the supplier, trade records, whether the company is genuine or fake and if it is worth investing the energy in procuring supplies from them.
Qlarium analyzes information in real time without any interaction with the organization being analyzed by using information from third parties. The system retrieves and analyzes data from dozens of Chinese data banks and translates it into a complete business intelligence report.
The Defense Ministry is using Qlarium to help find relevant suppliers and manufacturers, while also avoiding middlemen, defective equipment and fake companies.
"Following the coronavirus crisis, we have identified more and more companies that have no credibility offering services that apparently they cannot fulfill, or without the ability to provide them in the short term," said Qalrium CEO Yaron Shapira. "We have mobilized ourselves on this matter, and we hope that by conducting due diligence on the credibility of suppliers, and speeding up the supply chain, hospitals will be better prepared to cope with the coronavirus and as a result of that, perhaps the economy will resume sooner to operating at full production."
The Defense Ministry coordinated the delivery of reagents for tens of thousands of coronavirus tests and 30,000 protective suits for medical staff from South Korea that arrived in Israel on Wednesday afternoon.
“I thank the Defense Ministry and El Al, who we sent to the end of the world in order to bring life-saving equipment here,” said Defense Minister Naftali Bennett on Wednesday. “We continue to act in full force, and in all possible ways, both with local production and in the international arena.”
Maayan Jaffe-Hoffman contributed to this report.