Today fast testing and detection of COVID-19 is of prime importance in tackling the epidemic world over. Contributing to this vision, researchers at KJ Hospital Research and Postgraduate Centre, Chennai, India have developed a human palm-sized device that they claim can detect COVID-19 infection in a few seconds as against the presently used RT-PCR test which takes six hours to give results. The technology behind the device is based on measurement of a very small quantity of electricity which human body generates. In a normal person the range is from 23-25 milliVolt whereas the research findings show that in a person infected with COVID-19 it ranges between 5-15 milliVolt.Parameters taken into consideration by the device are blood pressure, oxygen saturation, Zeta potential, body temperature and blood count of the user. Other than blood pressure and fever, the sensors can also detect low count of WBCs, RBCs and platelets and low blood oxygen saturation.
The USP of this device is that it is non-invasive and does not need any prick. All a user has to do is place his/her hand in a plastic glove on the device to prevent infection and results flash on the connected computer within seconds. The team verified the results of their device with the RT-PCR results of hundreds of patients who were coming into the Stanley and Omandurar Hospitals in Chennai which happened to be a 100% match with the results of RT-PCR and almost 98% match when it was compared to the standard blood count test.
The cost incurred by the research team on producing this device is INR 10,000 but they are hopeful that it can be produced for a lesser amount by their manufacturing partners. The team has already filed for patent of their device.