Go COVID-19 is the new breathe test Singapre has approved that can produce a quick result within a minute. National University's spin-off startup, Breathonix Pte Ltd. spearheaded the development of the said analysis system. Earlier this week, the country's Health Sciences Authority (HSA) granted its provisional authorization.

Singapore Devises New Breath Test System for COVID-19

Go COVID-19 Breath Test System: Singapore OKs 60-sec Breath Test Which Accurately Detects Coronavirus
(Photo : National University of Singapore)
Breathonix is founded by Dr Jia Zhunan (left) and Mr Du Fang (middle). With them is NUS Deputy President (Innovation & Enterprise) Professor Freddy Boey (right).

According to Bloomberg, the authorized device is similar to the function of a standard breathalyzer test which is usually used to know if a person is drunk or not. Imagine that there is an attached valve mouthpiece that supports the breathing pattern of the person. Later, the breath signature is incorporated with a machine learning algorithm and will know if the tested individual has coronavirus.

The health department of Singapore has started a trial of the breath test system for travelers. Using the COVId-19 Breath Test System, the visitors will be screened. The antigen rapid test will be conducted along with the new technology.

"We are proud to play a part in Singapore's fight against COVID-19 by turning our cancer detection technology into a system that rapidly screens for the coronavirus. After months of hard work, we are delighted that the BreFence Go COVID-19 Breath Test System is now ready to be deployed to protect the nation. Our team is grateful for the invaluable support and advice provided by NUS," Breathonix chief operating officer, Mr. Du Fang said.

Read Also: Singapore Study Claims COVID-19 Patients Stop Infecting Others after 11 Days

How Does Go COVID-19 Breath Test System Work?

In the exhaled breath of a participant, the 60-second breath test system will identify the present Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs). Several biochemical reactions that happen in the human cells could be recorded, and a single change in them could be a basis for the coronavirus detection in an individual.

To carry out the process, all it would take is a single blow into the above-mentioned one-way valve mouthpiece. The breath sampler connects to it.

As the person inhales and exhales, the exhaled breath is put into a mass spectrometer. After that, the software will analyze it and in less than 60 seconds, the results will now appear. Before the examination, the participant should first be swab-tested for the initial screening.

According to Breathonix CEO, Dr. Jia Zhunan, the breath test is "non-invasive." Moreover, the individuals will not feel any discomfort since all they have to do is to breathe out. For those who question the possibility of cross-contamination when using the technology, the one-way valve is highly disposable.

From June 2020 to April of this year, numerous trials have been conducted by experts in three locations. The first trial happened in the National Center for Infectious Diseases, while the second trial took place in Changi Airport. The third and the last trial occurred in Dubai.

What's next for COVID-19 Breath Test System?

Currently, the BreFence Go COVID-19 Breath Test System has been discussing its plans with Breathonix when it comes to commercializing the product locally and internationally, NUS News reported.

Since the end of the coronavirus is not yet known, it could continue for the next years, and even decades. Singapore has been serious over the health public issue and the latest effort of the startup has been a big contribution to the country, as well as to the world.

Related Article: Singapore Debuts Wearable Devices To Improve COVID-19 Contact Tracing

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Written by Joseph Henry

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