Israel, Italy to develop coronavirus test using speech analysis

Clinical trial technology will include speech analysis of patient coughing for diagnosis of the coronavirus.

Italian ambassador to Israel Gianluigi Benedetti and President of the Afeka College Ami Moyal.  (photo credit: Courtesy)
Italian ambassador to Israel Gianluigi Benedetti and President of the Afeka College Ami Moyal.
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Learning institutions in Tel Aviv and Rome have begun collaborating on a new and faster way to diagnose coronavirus through speech analysis technology. 
On the Israeli side, the Afeka Academic College of Engineering in Tel Aviv's Center for Language Processing will head the project, while a parallel center from the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart will head the project in Rome. 
The initial outline for the project was agreed upon on Tuesday between the Italian ambassador in Israel Gianluigi Benedetti and President of the Afeka College Prof. Ami Moyal. The aim of the project is to develop tools to help with the international fight against the coronavirus during the interim period between the first and second wave of the pandemic. 
"The collaboration between these two centers of excellence is one of the several fruitful results of the long-term intensive contacts between the Italian and Israeli scientific communities, further strengthened since the very first stage of the pandemic," Benedetti said. 
New technological tools, allowing pre-diagnostic detection of potential carriers of corona through the analysis of patients’ voice, speech and coughing will be subjected to clinical trials sharing the same protocol.
"The expected result of the collaboration should provide us tools for dealing with future outbreaks of corona and other viruses," Moyal said.
In Tel Aviv, the Rabin Medical Center will host the trials on Israel's side, while the Gemelli University Hospital will hold the trials in Rome on the Italian side. 
"We are looking forward to a successful cooperation between our institutes and our countries, in developing technology-based tools that will assist our citizens, countries and humanity in the fight against corona virus – and together save lives," Moyal said.