20-Second COVID-19 Screening Test Piloted At Heathrow Airport, London

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20-second coronavirus screening test piloted at the Heathrow airport

A simple COVID 19 saliva screening test is prepared by two British companies. The aim of the test is to provide accurate results in 20 seconds. Following the first uses of the kit at London’s Heathrow airport the test kit is ready for launch.

The device, Virolens, developed by iAbra, uses a digital microscope and software which is powered by artificial intelligence. The device virtually searches for signs of the COVID-19 causing virus in a mouth swab sample.

The machine provides a pocket-friendly, repeatable and user-friendly method of screening. Each day, hundreds of cartridge-based tests can be conducted, claimed TT Electronics, the official manufacturing partner of iAbra. The University of Bristol has validated the system to generate a rate of 0.2% false-negative results, and a rate of 3.3 % false-positive results.

The first round of field testing of the Virolens device was carried out among Heathrow employees. The developers are now planning for clinical trials of the device to get the certification for medical use.

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John Holland Kaye, CEO, Heathrow Airport, underwent the test and commented that he had experienced iAbra’s test alongside the PCR test and found iAbra’s test to be quicker and cheaper, and potentially more accurate. He further pleaded the government to fast-track the technology in order to protect the economy and thereby save the jobs of millions of citizens.

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iAbra estimated the cost of the machine to be less than $20,000, with cartridge testing kits about the price of a paperback book, reported the Financial Times.

Meanwhile, two other rapid-result COVID-19 causing virus tests are tried in Heathrow, namely, Mologic’s lateral-flow saliva testing strip and Geneme’s RT-LAMP nasal swab test. The results of the test are forwarded to the government. As countries and airports are looking for the most efficient and user-friendly testing methods, these tests seem to fulfill the desired requirements of the present time.

Source

20-second coronavirus screening test piloted at the Heathrow airport

Author: Mayuri Hazarika

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