We’re well into our third year of dealing with COVID, and we still struggle with testing for the disease. What if you could blow into a straw and get results in a few minutes?
Testing has become one of the main tools to manage the spread of COVID infections, but even the home test kits take 15 minutes to produce results. What if you could get a result in just three minutes simply by blowing into a tube? That’s the idea behind a new test that has received an Emergency Use Authorization from the FDA to screen for COVID infection. The system detects certain compounds in a person’s breath to analyze and display the results. The device is not very portable – it’s the size of a suitcase – and it requires a trained technician to operate it. But the system is capable of testing about 160 samples per day, which could provide rapid testing for certain settings. And if we could get a smaller, more mobile solution that could provide low-cost screenings, this might make managing COVID infections a lot more efficient and effective.