Hospital in south says it used AI to identify Oct. 7 wounded who showed up without ID

Renee Ghert-Zand is the health reporter and a feature writer for The Times of Israel.

Staff working at Soroka Medical Center in Beersheba in a handout photo. (Courtesy: Soroka)
Staff working at Soroka Medical Center in Beersheba in a handout photo. (Courtesy: Soroka)

Soroka Medical Center in Beersheba — the south’s only Level 1 trauma center — shares that many of the hundreds of injured brought there following the horrific attacks by Hamas on October 7 came without identification.

Thanks to a combination of internet sleuthing and artificial intelligence, dozens of these people were quickly identified.

As soon as the injured began streaming in, a team of social workers, medical students and hospital photographers immediately swung into action. As in all mass casualty events, the photographers took pictures of the unidentified. Concurrently, the team scoured all social media platforms to gather hundreds of images of people missing after the attacks.

The hospital also announced and circulated an email address to which family members could submit photos and identifying details of their loved ones.

While the team worked with the hospital’s computing and data systems department to match photos, Israeli company Corsight AI, which specializes in facial recognition, volunteered to help and speed up the process.

“The heartbreaking sight of dozens and sometimes hundreds of family members who arrived searching for their loved ones left no doubt that we had to act in any way possible so that no one would remain unidentified, and so we could update the families — for good or bad — as soon as possible whether we had information on their relatives,” says Soroka deputy director Dr. Dror Dolfin.

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