Home Business Rapid breathalyzer can potentially relieve pressure on corona test streets

Rapid breathalyzer can potentially relieve pressure on corona test streets

The pressure on test streets could soon be relieved by a lightning-fast breath test by the Leiden company Breathomix. In recent weeks, the device has been running on an Amsterdam test street and the first results are positive, the Leiden University Medical Center (LUMC) confirms Wednesday to NU.nl after a report by the Volkskrant.

The pressure on test streets could soon be relieved by a lightning-fast breath test by the Leiden company Breathomix. In recent weeks, the device has been running on an Amsterdam test street and the first results are positive, the Leiden University Medical Center (LUMC) confirms Wednesday to NU.nl after a report by the Volkskrant.

The breathalyzer took part in a test street in the Amsterdam RAI as part of an investigation by the GGD Amsterdam, the Franciscus Gasthuis & Vlietland and the LUMC. The Ministry of Health has already ordered several hundred devices, which will initially be used in the test streets of the GGD.

In Amsterdam, eighteen hundred people took the breathalyzer test after taking the regular corona test with a cotton swab. Of all people who had themselves tested, the device could safely rule out corona infection in three quarters of the cases.

This device, which can rule out contamination in a matter of seconds, could greatly ease the pressure on test streets. The proportion of people for whom an infection cannot be ruled out could then undergo a regular corona test.

Device learns to recognize patterns in breath

The so-called SpiroNose has been used in the past to recognize lung diseases such as asthma and COPD. The device detects small particles in the air that people exhale in addition to CO2 and water vapor. That air is different in sick people than in healthy people.

“The device does not just look at one specific particle, but at a combination. It actually works just like a human nose, which recognizes a combination of particles as the smell of coffee,” said Rianne de Vries, COO of Breathomix, in conversation with NU.nl.

By building a large database of various sick and healthy people, the device eventually learned to recognize corona, says De Vries. She expects that the device will become increasingly accurate as more people take the breathalyzer and the algorithms can compare more data.

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