How a Coronavirus breathalyser could be a key component in getting back to normal

Government unveils plans to get the UK back to work

Diagnosis specialists  – ANCON Medical – discuss innovative solutions that could aid in containing the virus and prevent a second peak of infections

Prime Minister Boris Johnson will this week unveil his “roadmap” to taking the UK out of lockdown. Measures are thought to include staggered shifts for workers, socially distanced desks and even temperature checks for commuters. 

There is also increasing optimism that innovation in the form of a vaccine for Coronavirus or treatment in the form of US company Gilead’s newly approved Remdesivir drug. The BBC reports, however, that for testing, the “biggest challenge is yet to come”. The government may have reached its 100,000 test goal but response times for test results remain in the days category, it has been reported that a faster test will be needed to reliably enforce isolation quickly and effectively. 

Wesley Baker – CEO of ANCON Medical, discusses the need for fast, large-scale testing:

“The innovation we have seen thus far in the form of vaccines and treatments is hugely encouraging, but with testing as the final piece of puzzle in exiting lockdown, a test that can accurately, and quickly, diagnose the disease in the wide population is going to be key. The number of tests will likely need to extend to widespread screening of the whole population to be as effective as possible.

Another issue we are seeing is how long current diagnosis methods take to give results. PCR testing takes up to three days to give a diagnosis, meaning that when results are announced each day we are really seeing the number that were diagnosed a few days ago. In such a fast moving situation, having the most accurate and up-to-date information and data is of the utmost importance.

At ANCON we are really keen to help the NHS tackle this disease through fast diagnosis and effective screening. It has been made clear that the Government will invest heavily into getting this right but what we need to see is effective cooperation between the public and private sector. Innovative technology such as ours could have an enormous impact if implemented correctly.”

ANCON Medical’s Nanoparticle Biomarker Tagging (NBT) device works with AI and machine learning to identify the breath biomarker profile of a COVID-19 positive patient – allowing the device to diagnose the presence of the disease in as little as 10 minutes, without the need to send samples to labs, as is currently the case. It can also provide rapid response screening and diagnosis technique for future outbreaks.

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