Afeka College conducts research to identify potential COVID-19 carriers using voice analysis

TEL AVIV, Israel, April 21, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- The project is expected to allow for a preliminary, readily available, convenient, and simple screening procedure that can be used to quickly identify potential virus carriers, prioritize diagnostic efforts, and break the chain of infection. The study, led by the Israeli MOD, is being conducted by the Afeka Center for Language Processing (ACLP) at Afeka College of Engineering in collaboration with Rabin Medical Center, Sheba Hospital, high-tech companies and various MOD units.

Prof. Ami Moyal is a speech processing expert and President of Afeka College of Engineering: "We are proud to partner with the Israeli MOD as part of our National "Corona" Emergency Team and contribute to saving lives."

He added, "The target of the project is to develop an innovative algorithm that will be a breakthrough in the identification of potential carriers of the COVID-19 virus. I am optimistic that this impressive and unique collaboration will yield results and contribute to public health in Israel and throughout the world."

At present, voice and speech samples (recordings) are being collected from COVID-19 patients at various stages of the disease, as well as from healthy individuals. Another control group of COVID-19 negative patients suffering from respiratory symptoms (such as flu symptoms) are also being recorded in order to differentiate them from COVID-19 positive patients. The goal is to create a representative database to be used in the research.

The data will be processed using a variety of tools, advanced speech processing techniques and machine learning algorithms. In addition to studying the effect of the corona on speech and the human voice, the primary purpose is to differentiate between healthy individuals and potential carriers of the COVID-19 virus.

Prof. Ami Moyal Speech Processing Specialist and President of Afeka College of Engineering: "The Afeka Center for Language Processing has been active in speech processing research for over a decade. During this time, the Center has developed tools that are being used to diagnose diseases and assess their progress. We look forward to the ACLP knowledge and algorithms being adapted to assist in this national project."

The Afeka Center for Language Processing (ACLP) is part of the Afeka Academic College of Engineering and is a unique research, development and instruction laboratory located in Tel-Aviv, Israel and specifically dedicated to the field of speech and language processing. The ACLP combines academic knowledge and industry experience to fulfill its vision of promoting an ongoing cooperation between the academia and the industry and cultivating innovative solutions for the expanding needs of the field for the benefit of society.

Dan Cohen

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SOURCE Afeka College