What will be the role of India?
The new testing process will be tested in India, if successful, be manufactured in India, and marketed jointly by Israel and India to the world.
A special flight will be dispatched from Israel in the coming week which will include Israeli military R&D scientists and tech specialists who will work with a corresponding Indian team under the Prime minister’s principal scientific adviser Dr K. Vijayaraghavan at AIIMS for about two weeks.
The “breakthrough technologies” that would be tested in India include a voice test, a breathalyser test and an isothermal test, said Dani Gold, the head of the Directorate of Defense Research and Development, the Israeli ministry of defence.
What are the different types of tests performed by the new test kit?
- Voice Test
This online voice test is based on artificial intelligence. The test analyzes the recording of a human voice and aims to identify changes in the patient’s voice and/or deterioration in the condition of his/her respiratory system.
- Breathalyzer test
Detection based on terra-hertz waves: As part of an R&D program, officials developed a system of detecting the virus using THZ waves. The patient must breathe into a sterile sampling kit, after which his/her sample is analyzed using artificial intelligence.
- Isothermal testing
This is a biochemical testing method that enables the detection of the virus in a saliva sample. An inexpensive sample kit has been developed, which detects the presence of the virus with the help of a chemical reaction that takes place once the content is heated at about 60 degrees Celsius. The kit is suitable for at-home use and produces a result within 30 minutes.
- Testing using Polyamino acids
This is a biochemical method that enables the detection of Coronavirus proteins collected in a saliva sample. Using the appropriate instrumentation, a sample may be analyzed in several minutes. In Video: India and Israel join hands to develop rapid testing for Covid-19 in under 30 secs
What is the company making these test kits?
NanoScent, the firm making the test kits, said an extensive trial in Israel for the presence of live virus delivered results with 85 per cent accuracy, and the product could receive regulatory approval within months.
Chief executive officer Oren Gavriely said that while visiting the United States in January, he sensed his firm’s expertise may be needed to help confront the novel virus circulating in Asia that appeared to be spreading to the West.
“We said we’ll invest one week into it and see what’s happening, and this one week never stopped,” he said.
What is the procedure of testing?
The test begins with a few short questions about COVID-19 exposure and symptoms, displayed on the phone of the person administering the procedure.
Test subjects then inhale through the nose, hold their breath, close one nostril and exhale through the other, pushing breath through a handheld tube into a small bag called the “Air Trap”.
The tube is then plugged into the “Scent Reader”, a small rectangular device that whirrs softly as it sucks the air out of the bag.
Within seconds the results — “Covid-19 negative” during AFP’s visit — appear on the phone.
What is the principle behind the new technology?
Researchers at NanoScent’s headquarters in northern Israel are refining the virus recognition technology, which relies on “odours and the pattern of odours”, Gavriely said.
After analysing the breath of roughly 1,000 Israeli Covid-19 patients, the firm was able to identify detectable smells associated with the virus, the chief executive added.
“We pick up on a pattern, we record that pattern and then we can detect if someone has, or is suspected to have, Covid-19.”
If the breathalyser result is positive, people should automatically be sent for a lab test, he said.
What is the cost of per test?
The device will likely cost less than $10 per test, “a fraction of the cost of the lab test”, Gavriely said.
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