What We Know about COVID-19 'Breath Test' Development from Melbourne Company, GreyScan
Necessity is the mother of invention.
With GreyScan declaring a game-changing ‘breath test’ that detects the virus within 3 minutes, we open possibilities of mass testing with quicker turnaround time.
A relatively young company, GreyScan was established in 2015 out of the Grey Innovation Group of companies. It is based in Port Melbourne, Victoria.
Last February, GreyScan announced that in partnership with the University of Tasmania, they are developing a test that is a ‘much less invasive test’ similar to a ‘breath test’.
How Does the Test Work?
The test functions much like the common alcohol breathalyser test. The test subject blows into a tube, and the device collects the sample.
The viral properties of the breath sample on the filer are quickly analysed. Within three minutes, you have results.
The detector device illuminates a red screen if positive and a green screen in case of negative result. This new quick scan is based on the same technology to detect explosives around the world.
Chief Executive Samantha Ollerton said, “There are about half a dozen other companies looking at breath testing. But they are looking at disease markers as identifiers. We are the only ones looking at the level of infectivity and how infectious someone is.”
According to Ms Ollerton, the current rapid test available will only show a positive or negative result. It does not comment on the infectiousness of the subject.
She added that one can test negative and still be infectious.
This new test is aimed at improving this accuracy flaw in the current rapid test.
The test does not just improve the speed and accuracy of the current test. It also reduces the discomfort by leaps and bounds. The current swabs stuck up your nose and mouth are extremely uncomfortable. Not to mention painful and intrusive.
Although the company is yet to take their product to the Therapeutic Goods Association for approval, the tests appear promising.
The plan is to develop the product and have it approved and ready to launch out by the end of the year.
Will the aged seniors benefit from this test?
This can be good news for the aged care system. With it being less invasive, fast, and simple to use, this recent development can be beneficial to seniors. This is especially helpful for the elderly who have difficulty swallowing and find having the swab pushed up uncomfortable.
The great COVID-19 will forever go down in history, for one thing. Developments and studies like GreyScan’s science may yet be one of the biggest strides to help defeat this pandemic.
This would be a big win not just for Australia but for the world at large. Think about the time saved at airports, schools, hospitals—the benefits are countless.