New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: In what could be good news amid the coronavirus crisis, India and Israel are planning to collaborate to develop a whole new set of COVID-19 testing kits which will bring the testing process down to only 30 seconds by using artificial intelligence and machine learning.   

Israeli military R&D scientists will be coming to India in the coming week through a special flight, who will work with their Indian counterparts under Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s principal scientific adviser Dr K. Vijayaraghavan at AIIMS for about two weeks.

India’s role in the collaboration:

According to a report by Times of India, the new testing kits will be tested in India, and if the researchers find them successful to use, they will also be manufactured in India. The testing kits will also be marketed by India and Israel jointly to the world.

The testing process, which will be tested in India, include a voice test, breathalyser test and an isothermal test, said Dani Gold, head of the Directorate of Defense Research and Development, Israeli ministry of defence, as reported by Times of India.

Different types of tests performed by the new test kit?

Voice Test:

The voice test is an artificial intelligence (AI) test which analyses human voice recordings and the also identifies the changes occurred in a patient’s voice and/or deterioration in the condition of his respiratory system.  

Breathalyzer test

The breathalyser test is based on terra-hertz waves, which is a system developed to detect the virus using the THZ waves. During the test, a patient breathe into a sterile sampling kit and his sapmle is tested using artificial intelligence.

Isothermal testing

Through this method, the virus is detected through the samples of saliva of a patient. The kit detects presence of the virus through chemical reactions that take place after the sample is heated at 60 degrees Celsius. This testing kit can be used at home and produces results within 30 minutes.

Procedure of testing

The tests starts with doctors asking some questions about the COVID-19 symptoms and exposure, which are displayed on the phone screen of the patient.

The patient then was asked to inhale through the nose and hold their breathe for a while before releasing the breathe by closing one nostril and releasing it by other into a handheld tube connected to a small bag called the ‘Air Trap’.

The tube is then plugged into the "Scent Reader", a small rectangular device that whirrs softly as it sucks the air out of the bag. Within seconds the results appear on the phone.

About the company which developed these test kits:

These special kits are developed by NanoScent, which said that extensive trials in Israel to test COVID-19 delivered results with 85 per cent accuracy. It also said that the products could receive regulatory approval within months.

Chief executive officer of NanoScent, Oren Gavriely, as quoted by AFP said that while visiting the United States in January, he sensed his firm's expertise may be needed to help confront the novel virus circulating in Asia that appeared to be spreading to the West.

"We said we'll invest one week into it and see what's happening, and this one week never stopped," he said.

What is the cost of per test?

The device will likely cost less than $10 (Rs 700 approx) per test, "a fraction of the cost of the lab test", Gavriely said.

Posted By: Talib Khan