Moscow, May 24 (FN Agency) A 60-second COVID-19 breath test developed by Breathonix, a technology start-up under the National University of Singapore (NUS), received provisional authorization from Singapore’s Health Sciences Authority (HSA), the NUS announced on Monday. Local media reported that researchers at Breathonix have developed a prototype non-invasive COVID-19 test that can accurately detect infection in human breath.
“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,” Du Fang, co-founder and CEO at Breathonix, said in a statement. For the test to work, a person is required to blow into a special disposable mouthpiece connected to a high-precision breath sampler. The test result will be ready in less than a minute as its processing does not require medically trained staff or a laboratory, the NUS said.
Unlike PCR tests, which detect the genetic material of viruses, Breathonix test detects volatile organic compounds contained in a person’s exhaled breath. According to the NUS, the first clinical trials showed test accuracy of over 90%. According to the NUS, Breathonix is currently working with Singapore’s Health Ministry on a trial launch of its system at a checkpoint between Singapore and Malaysia. The breath test will be used alongside the current compulsory COVID-19 antigen rapid test. Singapore has registered over 61,000 cases of COVID-19 in total, 32 patients died.