By Matthias Samuel
According to The Times of Israel, the pharmaceutical company NextGen Biomed announced that it has successfully identified a number of initial indicators of biological markers that could allow it to map traces of COVID-19 in the breath and lead to the creation of a breathalyzer test to identify the virus.
It is the result of a study announced in April by Israeli Scentech medical, a Tel Aviv-based company specializing in breath-test diagnostics.
In April, Scentech said the trial would analyze the breath of 50-60 coronavirus patients of different ages and medical conditions from Meir Medical Center in Kfar Saba and compare them with the breath of healthy subjects.
The results would then be verified by using 100-200 ill and healthy soldiers in the Israeli Defense Force, with the hopes of using the breath to identify ill patients with an accuracy rate of at least 85%.
In response to the findings, Scentech CEO Drew Morris said, “We are very encouraged by the success in identifying the indicators and moving closer to completing initial performance biomarkers and the start of broader research for swift testing using breakthrough technology. “We hope to produce a test which is reliable, and significantly cheaper and more rapid than today’s existing tests including PCR.”
The UK company ANCON Medical, which also specializes in breath-test diagnostics, has also been developing a COVID-19 breath test and began trials in UK hospitals in August. Other than this Breathonix, a medical equipment manufacturing company based in Singapore, has developed a breath test that detects Coronavirus in less than sixty seconds.
According to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Breathonix, Dr. Jia Zhunan, “Our breath test is easy to administer, and it does not require specially-trained staff or laboratory processing. Results are generated in real-time, making it an attractive solution for mass screening, especially in areas with high human traffic. We believe our breath analysis platform shows promise in changing the tides of this pandemic”.
It is good to know that companies are making efforts to develop technology that would ease the painful process of the COVID test.