Attendees of APEC Health Week meetings have been presented with a number of health innovoations. Among these is one of Thailand’s promising COVID-19 testing devices. The breath analyzer, a collaboration between the Department of Medical Services and Mahidol University, provides rapid results at a cost of just 10 baht per person.
Rajavithi Hospital deputy director Sathit Niramitmahapanya and Mahidol University Faculty of Pharmacy lecturer Koptham Sathikul presented information on the COVID-19 breath analyzer. They said the tool was developed from the sugar level breath analyzer for diabetic patients. The new device does not require a sample to be collected from the nose nor does it require a saliva sample.
To use the Covid testing tool, one would blow into a bag and then connect the bag to the breath analyzer. The analyzer can differentiate between the breaths of a normal person and a person infected with COVID-19. The device has 100% sensitivity and 97% specificity, which are considered high. The rest result is yielded within 5 minutes, enabling speedy sorting and isolation of infected persons. These persons may thus be quickly entered into the treatment process. The quick results are expected to help reduce the opportunities for COVID-19 to spread widely. Each test costs no more than 10 baht.
Dr. Sathit and Mr. Koptham indicated development will continue to expand on the current device. Researchers aim to make the blowing process more convenient and also do away with the breath collection bag.
The device may make an appearance at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in November, when tens of thousands of participants are expected. It would be used by health authorities to better limit any transmissions of Covid at the summit and related meetings. (NNT)