NEW DELHI: 24 Jul 2020
Israel and India will work together to develop a new generation set of Covid-19 tests that aim to bring the entire testing process down to a few seconds, be widely available, and ultimately help to open economies. Using artificial intelligence and machine learning, these breakthrough technologies will be tested in India, and if successful, be manufactured in India, and marketed jointly by Israel and India to the world.
A special flight will be dispatched from Israel in the coming week which will include Israeli military R&D scientists and tech specialists who will work with a corresponding Indian team under the Prime minister’s principal scientific adviser Dr K. Vijayaraghavan at AIIMS for about two weeks.
Briefing journalists from Israel, Dani Gold, the head of the Directorate of Defense Research and Development, Israeli ministry of defense, said the “breakthrough technologies” that would be tested in India include a voice test, a breathalyser test and an isothermal test. Gold said there has been “comprehensive research cooperation between the DDRD and India’s PSA.”
A readout from the Israel embassy here said, “A special planned flight from Tel Aviv to New Delhi is set to carry a high ranking MOD R&D team which has been working with India’s chief scientist and DRDO to develop rapid testing for Covid-19 in under 30 seconds. Merging Israeli technology with Indian development and production capabilities aims to allow a swift resumption of normal life alongside the virus.”
While Israel has a global edge in early stage development of breakthrough technologies and therapeutics, India brings to the table massive data and global manufacturing capability.
Modi and Netanyahu have spoken about three times since the outbreak of the pandemic — “in which they promised mutual assistance in dealing with the virus and committed to joint technological and scientific research between the countries.”
The special flight will also include representatives from some Israeli companies chosen by their defense ministry and IDF and “given unique access to one of the largest economies in the world to provide monitoring and treatment technologies while significantly reducing contact between the patients and the medical staff.”
India aims to manufacture these Israeli technologies on a mass scale for the huge Indian demand as well as for third countries.
Israel will also be sending mechanical ventilators for use in Indian hospitals. India now has over a million Covid patients and ranks third in the world after the US and Brazil.
Ron Malka, Israel ambassador to India, said, ““The Covid-19 pandemic is a global challenge, so it is only right that the solution be a global scientific cooperation between countries. India and Israel’s military R&D cooperation is well known for its success. I have no doubt the same will be seen in the private sector joined by brilliant scientific minds from both countries to introduce a breakthrough in swift and simple testing procedures.”
Additional information on the new testing technologies:
1. Voice Test: This online voice test is based on artificial intelligence. The test analyzes the recording of a human voice and aims to identify changes in the patient’s voice and/or deterioration in the condition of his/her respiratory system.
2. Breathalyzer test – detection based on terra-hertz waves: As part of an R&D program, officials developed a system of detecting the virus using THZ waves. The patient must breathe into a sterile sampling kit, after which his/her sample is analyzed using artificial intelligence.
3. Isothermal testing: This is a biochemical testing method that enables the detection of the virus in a saliva sample. An inexpensive sample kit has been developed, which detects the presence of the virus with the help of a chemical reaction that takes place once the content is heated at about 60 degrees Celsius. The kit is suitable for at-home use and produces a result within 30 minutes.
4. Testing using Polyamino acids: This is a biochemical method that enables the detection of Corona virus proteins collected in a saliva sample. Using the appropriate instrumentation, a sample may be analyzed in several minutes.( TOI )