BREAKING! COVID-19 Diagnostics: Nanoscent, An Israeli Biotech Company Launches World’s First 30-Second SARS-CoV-2 Breath Test
: Israeli biotech company, Nanoscent has developed a SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus breathalyzer test that gives results in less than 30 seconds, billing it as a "front line" tool that can help restore a sense of normality during the pandemic.
The breathalyser is not meant to replace lab tests, but is a mass screening tool
The company said an extensive trial in Israel for the presence of live virus delivered results with 85 percent accuracy, and the product could receive regulatory approval within weeks.
Oren Gavriely, CEO Nanoscent told Thailand Medical news that the breathalyzer would not replace lab tests, but was a mass screening tool that could help individuals gain "the confidence to go back and act as normal".
Biotech innovative company, NanoScent has been operating for several years, specializing in rapid recognition technology, including for medical purposes.
Nanoscent’s CEO said that while visiting the America in January, he sensed his firm's expertise may be needed to help confront the novel virus circulating in Asia that appeared to be spreading to the West.
He added, "We said we'll invest one week into the COVID-19 research and see what's happening, and this one week never stopped.”
The diagnostic test begins with a few short questions about COVID-19 exposure and symptoms, displayed on the phone of the person administering the procedure.
The test subjects then inhale through the nose, hold their breath, close one nostril and exhale through the other, pushing breath through a handheld tube into a small bag called the "Air Trap". The tube is then plugged into the "Scent Reader", a small rectangular device that whirrs softly as it sucks the air out of the bag.
A researcher demonstrates a coronavirus breathalyser test at NanoScent's lab in Israel
Within seconds the results would appear on the phone.
The research team at NanoScent’s headquarters in northern Israel is refining the virus recognition technology, which relies on "odors and the pattern of odors.”
Upon analyzing the breath of roughly 1,000 Israeli COVID-19 patients, the firm was able to identify detectable smells associated with the virus, the chief executive added.
The researchers picked up on a pattern and used that pattern to detect if someone has, or is suspected to have COVID-19.
Gavriely said that Mass testing is crucial during a pandemic, adding that the NanoScent test could be a useful tool, provided it gets regulatory ap
He explained that the NanoScent's breathalyzer will not be used as a substitute for state-controlled lab tests.
He expected the fast and cheap diagnostic test to be used at entrances to concerts and hospitals, or in the aviation industry, noting it was already being used at a major European sports venue, in a commercial pilot.
Once an individual is tested positive by the breathalyzer, he or she would be automatically be sent for a lab test. Using the device, each test would cost less than US$10, a fraction of lab test.
It was also noted that the Israeli defense ministry's research and development directorate worked to help NanoScent develop its testing system, and with such rapid testing, it would be a "game-changer" against the pandemic.
Nanoscents’ CEO hoped that rapid, mass screening could help Israel strike a balance between essential restrictions and normal life.
He said, “Scent recognition platforms are a quick way to screen the masses and know who's suspected, who's not, so we can be confident again.”
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