Dubai conducting clinical trials for Covid-19 breath analyser
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Dubai conducting clinical trials for Covid-19 breath analyser

Dubai conducting clinical trials for Covid-19 breath analyser

The trials are being conducted on 2,500 patients, with the analyser capable of delivering results in under a minute

Dubai Covid-19 Breath Analyser

Clinical trials are current underway in Dubai to assess the accuracy of Covid-19 breath analysers that can detect the presence of the virus within one minute.

The trials are being held at Dubai Health Authority’s (DHA) Nadd Al Hamar primary health care centre for 2,500 patients, and are being jointly conducted Mohammed Bin Rashid University of Medicine and Health Sciences (MBRU), DHA and Breathonix, an offshoot company of the National University of Singapore (NUS) which has developed this test.

Breathonix previously conducted a Singapore-based pilot study that involved 180 patients and achieved a sensitivity of 93 per cent and specificity of 95 per cent with machine learning algorithms, reported UAE state news agency WAM.

Individuals need to blow into a disposable mouthpiece connected to the breath analyser. The breath is fed into a mass spectrometer for measurement. A machine learning software analyses the volatile organic compound (VOC) profile and generates the result in under a minute.

“VOCs are consistently produced by various biochemical reactions in human cells. Different diseases cause specific changes to the compounds, resulting in detectable changes in a person’s breath profile. As such, VOCs can be measured as markers for diseases like Covid-19,” said Dr Jia Zhunan, co-founder and CEO of Breathonix.

Dr Nada Al Mulla, Director of DHA’s Nadd Al Hamar Primary Healthcare Sector, added: “If approved and implemented, this technology will significantly reduce the burden on laboratory processing. It will drastically reduce the time taken to get the results in comparison to the presently available testing methods such as a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test. The breath test for screening Covid-19 is highly efficient for mass screening especially in areas of high-traffic.”

MBRU has previously conducted a study on the accuracy of saliva testing for Covid-19 for children and also implemented the technology across certain DHA centres in Dubai.

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