Throughout the COVID-19 crisis, testing has been the key to detect and treat new cases. Until the rollout of vaccination completes globally, the world needs a more reliable and quick testing solution. The wonderful news is that scientists have designed a breath test to spot COVID-19 with accurate results in a minute. This COVID-19 breathalyzer test has already been approved for use in Singapore through the direct efforts of the National University of Singapore.
Same Mechanism, Better Results
The test breathalyzer, Breathonix, works just like any other breathalyzer test. Law enforcement agencies use this type of breathalyzer all the time to spot drivers under influence. Once you blow into a valve mouthpiece, your breath signature and compounds are compared in a machine learning program. This ML software compares your breath results against the COVID-19 breath signature. It is simple, effective, and will save official authorities a lot of time.
Combination of Breathalyzer and PCR Test
Singapore intends to screen new incoming travelers at checkpoints on its western island. It is vital to understand that the deployment process of the breathalyzer across airports is still in the early stages. As such, if a person tests positive via this breath test, he or she will have to go through the screening process in a separate PCR swab test. Currently, Singapore screens individuals with antigen tests that would combine with the COVID-19 breathalyzer test.
Trial Accuracy and Mainstream Approach
The fact that people can now find out whether or not they are COVID-19 positive in one minute is a marvel of tech advancement. The startup firm Breathonix has managed to achieve up to 90% accuracy in the initial clinical trial with 180 involved individuals. The startup firm is optimistic about making the breathalyzer more mainstream and available in different states and cities by the end of 2021.
COVID-19 Breathalyzer Test: New Way to Spot COVID-19 Positivity
Although PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) nasal swab has been effective for the global healthcare community, it makes sense to move to a more efficient COVID-19 test. Plus, the breathalyzer test is not invasive like PCR nasal swab test and meets high demand at a moment’s notice.
Cost-Benefit Ratio of COVID-19 Breathalyzer Test
As of now, Breathonix is moving forward with its Singapore trial. The startup is optimistic about improving the accuracy of the test further and receiving the commercial green light in the Q1 of 2022. In comparison, Breathonix points out that its breathalyzer test will be 70% more affordable than traditional PCR tests. Despite the $20 test, the infected individuals may need a more comprehensive PCR test to confirm the original diagnosis.
The CEO and Founder of Breathonix highlighted that official authorities and private medical facilities can use the COVID-19 breathalyzer test as a screening device. The device comes with disposable mouthpieces and prevents cross-contamination through intricate design.
More accurate and efficient tests have become the answer to restore the travel industry. Akin to the rest of the global economic downfall, Singapore had a significant economic blow amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Even after the rollout of vaccines in Europe and the U.S., Singapore and other Asian countries are reluctant to open borders.
There are still hefty penalties and strict lockdowns in Asian countries to prevent increasing signs of COVID-19. The new breathalyzer test offers a more compact and cost-effective solution to curb the spread of the virus in the foreseeable future.
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