Rafael Tailors AI Big Data Tech to Combat Coronavirus

Israeli defense technology company believes it can help predict future outbreaks of Covid-19 with big data system

Udi Etzion 17:2725.03.20


Israeli defense contractor Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd. believes an artificial intelligence big data technology it developed, typically used by intelligence agencies, could be utilized in the fight against the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic and has offered its services to the Israeli Ministry of Health, two people familiar with the matter told Calcalist on condition of anonymity.


Should the number of those seriously ill with Covid-19 significantly increase, resulting in a shortage of ventilators, Rafael’s product could prove to be especially valuable, these people said.

Naval Iron Dome (illustration). Photo: IDF
Naval Iron Dome (illustration). Photo: IDF צילום: IDF Spokesperson's Unit


Speaking to Calcalist Tuesday, Irit Idan, executive vice president of research and development at Rafael, confirmed the information, adding that the system in question is an AI-based data gathering and analysis system known as ‘Wisdom Stone.’ The system can accurately identify the center of future outbreaks of coronavirus cases and alert the Ministry of Health and hospitals when they should expect an onslaught of sick patients, Idan said.


Wisdom Stone, which was unveiled in 2016, is operated by 300 data engineers. The system has been adapted to work with civilian databases.


“You can use municipal information regarding population density in certain neighborhoods, information residents are sharing on social media, such as complaints about having a fever or a cough, trace where sick patients might have been, and use the information to predict outbreaks,” Idan explained.