Israel develops breathalyzer detector for COVID-19

Israel develops breathalyzer detector for COVID-19

Israeli startup Scentech Medical began tests with the goal of identifying the genetic fingerprint of the coronavirus and then determining if it can be detected by a simple and quick breath test.

The current test for coronavirus requires a nasal swab to collect mucus and saliva, which is then tested to confirm infection, if present. If swabs are not collected properly, this can significantly affect the number of false negatives.

Scentech Medical says that if successful, its test could yield results within 10 seconds and hopes that it could be available within weeks, The Times of Israel reported.

The breath technology will help identify patients even before symptoms are present, thus helping to halt the spread of the virus, the company hopes.

The process uses gas chromatography, a lab technique to separate and analyze compounds in gases; mass spectrometry, a technique used to determine the elemental signatures of particles and molecules; and a ReCIVA breath collecting device.