A new test for COVID-19, which can give results in 15 minutes using a smartphone app, can become the first test that can be performed at home without the involvement of a laboratory.
Biotechnology company Cellex has partnered with Gauss, a start-up computer vision company, to develop a rapid response test that uses artificial intelligence to deliver results, Axios said.
The antigen test involves taking a nasal swab to both nostrils and then placing it in a small vial filled with buffer solution. Then take four drops from the vial and place on a test cassette.
The lines will develop with varying degrees of intensity depending on how much – if any – of the virus is present in the sample, similar to a pregnancy test.
The test is then scanned with a smartphone through an application that will use AI to inform users whether the tests are positive or negative ̵
“By incorporating advanced computer vision algorithms into a thoughtfully designed user experience, we can enable users to perform a quick test in their own homes as well as a trained operator or laboratory tool – simply by using the cameras on their smartphones,” said CEO. of Gauss Siddhartha Satish said in a statement.
If the FDA approves the diagnosis, this will be the first COVID-19 test that can be done at home.
Cellex CEO James Lee said the test had 90 percent sensitivity and nearly 100 percent specificity.
Test sensitivity is the ability to correctly identify positive cases, and the specificity of the test is the ability to correctly identify negative cases – meaning that the rapid test is not always 100 percent accurate in detecting those with COVID-19, but is almost always accurate in determining when a person is not infected.
“The important thing about managing the COVID-19 pandemic is that it is a tool that will allow people to observe and isolate themselves,” he told Axios.
The test is expected to be submitted to the FDA for emergency use later this year.