MIAMI – The University of Miami (UM) is testing in its students a new way to detect in just minutes if a person is infected with Covid-19 by analyzing the small droplets that are emitted when breathing.
This university center is the first in the United States to test the “Respiration Analyzer” produced by BioSafety Technologies, a subsidiary of Israel’s TeraGroup, which is awaiting the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). authorization for its commercialization in the country.
The analyzer is very similar to the one used by the police to detect “on the spot” if a driver has consumed alcohol.
For this test, you only need to blow twice into a small tube, place it in a Covid-19 scanner and wait for the results, which arrive in a few minutes, according to a statement from UM.
“It is as simple as blowing. If it works, it’s going to change everything, ”said Roy E. Weiss, chair of the Department of Medicine at the Miller School of Medicine at UM.
“It’s going to allow us to test in a fraction of the time and money of current nasal swab testing (PCR) and as often as needed,” he added.
Weiss said it could be used to control the entrance to a soccer stadium. If they test negative they can go ahead and enjoy the game, he said.
Starting this week, students who go to a center enabled within the UM campus to take the Covid-19 tests to which they are obliged to undergo regularly are asked if they want to take that test in addition and if so, they are asked to sign a consent document.
Professors and other university personnel will also be given the same opportunity.
The result of each test done with the Respiratory Analyzer is compared on each person with that of the PCR test to verify that the new test is effective.
UM hopes to provide the company with the results of 1,000 tests, as a small clinical study in support of the BioSafety Technologies invention.
Erin Kobetz, one of those responsible for the detection strategy of Covid-19 in UM, said that it is still too early to draw conclusions about the effectiveness of the Israeli test, but declared himself “hopeful”.