A UK medical tech start-up has developed a new, low cost, scalable diagnostic technique which could end lock-down and quarantine in the UK before Christmas and globally shortly after.
The method allows a device costing just £20 to be attached to any smartphone and carry out an instant COVID-19 test that is not just 98.7% sensitive and nearly 100% specific in detecting the SARS-CoV-2 virus which causes COVID-19, but crucially it also detects it up to 2 weeks earlier than existing tests such as PCR. This early detection, instant result and low cost mean that it will be possible for anyone with a smartphone to test themselves frequently, allowing detection of the virus before symptoms occur, preventing infected people from unwittingly spreading the virus – and allowing others to go about their lives.
This device could be mass-produced and issued to everyone through the NHS allowing anyone to test themselves and, if negative, return to daily-life normally be it work, pubs and restaurants, university or travel. Unlike existing tests, there are no reagents so there is no limit to the number or frequency of testing.
The work so far has been done without any injection of funds but the start-up has now been offered funding by the British government to get the product to market. However, these funds must be matched in the next two weeks by private funding. The company is therefore putting up a crowdfunding campaign to raise the additional funds and to allow the pubic to reserve one or more devices for themselves, their family or their business, school or university.