The PCR Corona Test which is currently conducted around the world and is considered the most reliable almost takes a day to give a positive or negative result. The test relies on a nose and throat swab to ascertain the presence of the virus and is quite painful. A UK based startup is looking to address both problems by using saliva samples and specialized cameras to detect the virus.
British startup iAbra recently conducted trials of the test at London’s Heathrow Airport for three weeks and they have got encouraging results. They are now pushing the British Government to deploy the Virolens system across the country which is not only cheaper but a whole lot faster than the PCR tests currently being conducted.
So how does it work? A saliva sample is taken from a possible suspect and it is analyzed by a digital camera attached to a microscope and connected to a computer to detect the presence of the virus. Since the trials have shown encouraging results, there could be a huge possibility of executing the tests on a mass scale throughout UK and then throughout the world.
According to Greg Compton, CEO of iAbra: “Our system allows simple, high speed, reliable and low-cost testing in dynamic environments. In short, with the Virolens system, we can get the world moving again.”
A startup in Pakistan was working on a technology to detect the novel COVID-19 virus using cough audios. These improvements in tests will help better determining patients and lead to faster mitigation to control the spread of the virus.