Israel’s tech war on Covid

From artificial noses to robots on planes, Israeli inventors are at the forefront of the battle


Although Israel now faces a second wave of Covid-19, it has been at the forefront of the high-tech battle against the pandemic. Here are some of the solutions that Israeli institutions and start-ups have come up with — either in development or currently in use.

Sixty-second detection

Instead of a taking a swab, which requires labs, hard-to-get reagents and at least two days until you get the answer, Maf’at is working on a development that will reveal within 60 seconds if a person is positive for coronavirus.

This technology uses tera-hertz frequencies, which fluctuate a thousand trillion times a second. With the help of this technology, it should be possible to identify virus carriers in the airport prior to boarding, for example.

Artificial nose

This technology is based on the hard-to-grasp discovery that coronavirus has a smell.

An artificial nose developed by Nanoscent, currently used to identify pregnant cows, is now being tested for its ability to detect coronavirus.

The small device may be able detect the molecules that are released from coronavirus carriers. Installing this device in public spaces will assist in detecting and identifying the virus when present in the air, which will confirm whwther a location is coronavirus-free and safe to walk through.

A smart robot

Imagine the following scene: You arrive at the airport and are greeted by a robot instead of humans. Or, when boarding the plane itself, you’re greeted by a flight attendant-robot that escorts you to your seat.

What if these robots can still maintain a high-level of service, but also maintain hygiene and protect the health of the crew and passengers?

Exactly such a robot had been developed by Israeli defence contractor Rafael and is undergoing trial in hospitals. The current aim is to see if the robot can replace some of the medical staff in departments treating coronavirus. This technology can also be used at airports and hotels during the check-in and security-check processes.

Highly durable mask

We do not know yet what kind of restrictions passengers will be subject to, but these are likely to include wearing a mask throughout a flight. But what if the flight lasts for ten hours or more?

A joint development of Meir Hospital in Kfar Saba, Israel Border Police and the Israel’s Counter Terrorism Unit, Yamam, has resulted in a new mask connected to bellows that will enable easier breathing on flights and long trips. The mask is currently being used experimentally in hospitals and helps medical teams breathe easily.

Thermal imaging

One way to detect coronavirus is to check body temperatures at the entrances of public spaces, such as shops and apartment blocks.

To improve this process, an Israeli company has been developing thermal imaging and body heat scans that can monitor large groups of people at the same time.

This technology can be used anywhere, from hotel lobbies to the entrances of tourist attractions. It has been developed by the video company Hikvision, in collaboration with HVI Security Solutions, from the C Data Group and Team 3.

Ultraviolet light

Mayanei Hayeshua Medical Centre managed to destroy coronavirus in medical spaces with the help of a special ultraviolet light, which is harmless and safe to use even for an extended period.

Now the aim is to have this technology installed in public spaces such as museums and restaurants — a potentially huge reassurance for tourists and locals alike. It was developed by a medical team led by Dr Boris Orkin, a group of physicists, and businessman Eldad Perry.

Mobile phone identification

A development by means viruses could be monitored via a mobile phone camera.

An app allows a user to carry out remote and real time tests to monitor your heart rate, oxygen saturation (SpO2), respiration rate and mental stress - all via your smartphone, laptop or personal tablet.’s technology uses signal processing and artificial intelligence combined with mathematical algorithms to detect an illness via a camera in less than two minutes.

For more information visit the Tel Aviv and Jerusalem tourism website here.

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