Biotech Updates

Hospital in Israel Starts Trials for the Fastest COVID-19 Test

August 26, 2020

A hospital in Israel started the trials for super quick saliva tests for COVID-19 which gives results in less than a second. This new method, once approved for commercial use, could be a game-changer in the COVID-19 testing.

The trials, led by Eli Schwartz of the Center of Geographic Medicine and Tropical Diseases at Sheba Medical Center, only requires the patient to rinse his mouth with a saline wash and spit into a vial. The spit sample is analyzed using a small spectral device that shines a light on the specimen and then the reaction determines if the sample COVID-19 positive or not. According to Schwartz, the initial results involving hundreds of samples has a 95% success rate and this is expected to increase because of the device's artificial intelligence. The new method, aside from the ease of sampling, is more convenient and much cheaper compared to existing testing methods. Each test costs less than a quarter of a US dollar and the device cost is approximately US$200. The developers are currently applying for regulatory approval.

Read the media release in Discourse on Development.

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