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A New Italian-Israeli Cooperation: After the first wave of the Corona epidemic ends with a potential second wave, Israeli-Italian research centers join forces Italian-Israeli cooperation developing a fast screening tool for identifying potential COVI-19 carriers using speech processing and artificial intelligence (AI) technologies

After a particularly difficult few months in which the two countries have faced the challenges of the epidemic with the rest of the w orld, all eyes are now directed to technological solutions to lead the next step in fighting the epidemic.

The initial outline for a groundbreaking Italian-Israeli collaboration was at the center of the meeting today between the Italian ambassador to Israel, Mr. Gianluigi Benedetti, and President of Afeka Tel-Aviv Academic College of Engineering, Prof. Ami Moyal, and their teams.

Top-level academic centers, the Israeli “ACLP – Afeka Center for Language Processing” located in “Afeka Tel Aviv Academic College for Engineering” and the “Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore” are working together to develop solutions using their competencies on speech processing and artificial intelligence into clinical practice.

Summer and Fall of 2020 are an interim period that requires rapid readiness for another eruption. Therefore, this cooperation between the two countries may be a key factor in the international fight against the corona epidemic. New technological tools, allowing pre-diagnostic detection of COVID-19 potential carriers through the analysis of patients’ voice, speech and coughing will be subjected to clinical trials sharing the same protocol.

The recruitment of patients and the trials will involve both Italian and Israeli hospitals, such as the “Fondazione Policlinico Gemelli” in Rome, Italy and the “Rabin Medical Centre, near Tel Aviv, Israel

The Italian Ambassador in Israel, Gianluigi Benedetti, stressed that “The cooperation 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”.

Prof. Ami Moyal, President of Afeka Tel-Aviv Academic College of Engineering, stated: “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 COVID-19 and together save lives. The expected result of the collaboration should provide us tools for dealing with future outbreaks of COVID-19 and other viruses.”