A Quick & Cheap COVID Breathalyzer Before Flying? Yes, Please! – Your Mileage May Vary

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So far, most tests to see if you currently have COVID-19 have focused on getting samples directly from your respiratory system (swab up the nose appears to have the highest rate of viral detection). The test is uncomfortable, expensive and, at least if you’re in Central Florida, requires sitting on line in your car for upwards of 5 hours until it’s your turn. Results take several hours to a number of days to get back, and if labs are backed up, a predicted 3 to 5 days wait can turn into 5 to 10 days. That time frame isn’t conducive for flying, when many locations require a negative test result from within 72 hours before arriving in that state or country.

Of course, multiple countries are looking at various other ways to detect the 2019 Novel coronavirus – most are focused on looking for specific proteins, which would suggest an invasive sort of test, such as a blood test or some such.

However, a group in Finland, Deep Sensing Algorithms, has developed a breathalyzer test that’s they’re calling the world’s fastest test for coronavirus. If it works as planned, it could be perfect for pre-travel testing.

The DSA Analyzer measures 60 x 60 x 190mm, or roughly the same size as a 20 oz. bottle of soda. You breathe into its disposable mouthpiece (with no-return valve) 2 to 4 times for 30 seconds and the device’s built-in nanosensors measure certain chemicals (specifically volatile organic compounds, or metabolic biomarkers) in your exhaled breaths. The measurements are sent to a cloud-based diagnostic algorithm that generates the diagnosis, using artificial intelligence and machine learning.

From Deep Sensing Algorithms:

The unit contains a set of carefully selected and configured nanosensors that record Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) and other substances connected to the biomarkers to be identified in exhaled breath gas. The biomarker VOC’s are born in human metabolism and their known relation – the VOC profile – with a given disease forms the basis for the analysis.

The Analyzer communicates with an Artificial Intelligence based cloud algorithm to calculate how well the measured breathprint of the individuals VOC profile matches with the known COVID-19 features.

The DSA Analyzer generates a diagnosis in about two minutes, and costs less than $5.

Testing will begin in August in Helsinki and Kazakhstan, and will be extended to the Netherlands and the United States later this summer.

Fingers crossed!

#stayhealthy #staysafe #washyourhands #wearamask

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