Getting tested for Covid-19 is extremely crucial yet extremely uncomfortable and painful at the same time. Many have testified that it certainly isn’t pleasant to undergo a swab test but it is the most efficient way one can get tested.
Fortunately with the advancement of technology today, individuals might be able to get tested using respiratory tests instead of swab tests! This is because researchers in Singapore are developing a kind of test that is able to detect the Covid-19 virus using an individual’s breath in less than a minute.
The National University of Singapore (NUS) said that the test detects volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in the breath and has achieved more than 90 per cent accuracy in results during its clinical trials conducted on 180 patients.
All one needs to do is exhale into a disposable mouthpiece that is connected to a high-precision tester, reported Channel News Asia. The exhaled breath is then collected and fed into a mass spectrometer for measurement. Machine learning software analyses the VOC profile and generates the result in less than a minute.
Breathonix, developed by NUS, claims to offer a “fast and convenient solution to identify Covid-19 infection”
Its CEO Dr Jia Zhunan said VOCs are consistently produced by various biochemical reactions in human cells.
“Different diseases cause specific changes to the compounds, resulting in detectable changes in a person’s breath profile. As such, VOCs can be measured as markers for diseases like Covid-19,” he said.
Meanwhile, Breathonix’s chief operating officer Mr Du Fang, said that the disposable mouthpiece has a one-way valve and a saliva trap which stops inhalation and any saliva from entering the machine, making cross-contamination unlikely.
Hopefully this new way of testing gets developed to its full potential and when that is done, let’s hope it will be available in Malaysia.