Months after the first cases of coronavirus popping up, the world is still scrambling to find a cure or even test people who might be positive of COVID-19, the disease brought by the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Still, one researcher claims to have built a 5-minute coronavirus test for as low as £2 or $2.5 per test, making it the cheapest and perhaps the most accessible if approved.
A New 5-Minute COVID-19 Test Emerges
Based on a report by the Daily Mail, the COVID-19 test is created by the medical researcher, Professor Maneesh Singh, who hails from Hull.
According to Singh, his company, Biocel Analytics, has come up with a "unique method" to provide a quick, reliable, and cheaper test for coronavirus infections with the use of infrared microspectroscopy.
The technology is used to identify as well as study chemical substances and their compounds.
With the Hull-based company's test, swabs from the patients will be analyzed by the coronavirus device in the laboratory.
Within the device, there's an infrared light that will pass through a lab diamond, which then reflects the light internally, creating a wave that will interact with the swab and will soon after create a unique "fingerprint" spectrum.
The data from the fingerprint will then be run through an algorithm that Professor Singh and his team have created within just a week.
The data from the fingerprint spectrum will be used to determine whether the patient is coronavirus positive or not and will be sent through Bluetooth to any device where an app of the algorithm is installed.
Therefore, the results should be available instantaneously.
"It's a robust emerging technique," the professor said.
Infrared spectroscopy has already been used in several medical fields, including the diagnosis of ovarian cancer as well as Alzheimer's disease.
The Cheapest by Far?
Best of all, the professor claimed that it would only take £2 per test or less than $3, making it the cheapest COVID-19 test so far.
Singh also added that they are not after the profits, and instead, they are looking for a breakthrough in the middle of a "major crisis," although any profit from it will be reinvested to more research and development.
He also likened the situation to war, and that technology often comes to the forefront in wars, so people have to move rapidly.
"The government doesn't have to take it, but we just want to be in a position to offer a potential solution for their consideration," Singh explained, further saying that it was done to help their colleagues and to make a difference in the sudden emergence of the coronavirus pandemic.
With the rising cases of COVID-19 patients in the UK, the government has loosened the requirements when it comes to possible tests and relevant researchers.
Will it be Available Soon for the Public?
Meanwhile, Singh said that with just another study to be published and a partnership with even one NHS trust, it is possible that it will only take days to finish testing the device and its accuracy.
As of writing, the UK still has problems with testing the public as they do not have widely available kits that can be used on them and that the NHS is only able to perform COVID-19 testing on hospital patients.
The news about the cheaper testing device came after Time reported a 5-minute testing device from Abbott, which is now starting to ship to various states in the US.