Rapid diagnostic capabilities are the most effective way of cutting off chains of infection, preventing prolonged quarantine and enabling the reopening of the global economy.
By Aryeh Savir, TPS
An Israeli team that was dispatched to India to lead an unprecedented operation in the fight against COVID-19 and to conduct the final stages of testing of four advanced technologies for the rapid diagnosis of the virus has completed its mission and is on its way back to Israel.
The Israeli delegation, led by the Directorate of Defense Research and Development (DDR&D) in the Ministry of Defense, conducted a series of tests to determine the effectiveness of a number of rapid diagnostic solutions developed in Israel.
The MoD announced Wednesday that the team has met its ambitious goal of collecting more than 20,000 samples from verified Corona patients within nine days.
The delegation established six drive-in sites in the city of Delhi for Corona sampling and two laboratories for concentrating and processing the data in computer systems brought specially from Israel.
In the experiment, four non-invasive samples were collected: sound samples, saliva, exhalation, and swabs.
The Ministry of Defense and the IDF attaché in India, Col. Assaf Meller, stated that “the goal is to bring a message to the world – the technological ability to perform rapid corona tests within tens of seconds, which will allow the opening of airports, office buildings, schools, train stations and more. We hope that in a few months we will be able to bring news to the world.”
Delegation leader Lt. Col. Yaniv Meirman added that “the analysis of the data is in progress and will continue with our return to Israel. We are optimistic and we hope that in a short time we will be able to set up a system for a quick diagnosis of the coronavirus.”
The DDR&D over the past months has tested dozens of diagnostic technologies. Some of them have matured and passed initial trials in Israel, but the completion of the testing requires trials on a wide range of patients.
The operation in India will enable the Israeli delegation to collect tens of thousands of samples in just 10 days and analyze them using computer systems based on artificial intelligence.
The four tech systems being tested are the Corona voice test, breathalyzer test based on terahertz waves, isothermal test, and polyamine acids test.
The online voice test is based on artificial intelligence. The test analyzes the recording of a human voice and aims to identify changes in the patient’s voice and a possible deterioration in the condition of the patients’ respiratory system.
The breathalyzer test is based on terahertz waves. The patient breaths into a sterile sampling kit, after which the sample is analyzed using artificial intelligence.
Isothermal testing is a biochemical testing method that enables the detection of the virus in a saliva sample. An inexpensive sample kit has been developed, which detects the presence of the virus with the help of a chemical reaction that takes place once the content is heated at about 60 degrees Celsius. The kit is suitable for at-home use and produces a result within 30 minutes.
Testing using Polyamino acids is a biochemical method that enables the detection of Coronavirus proteins collected in a saliva sample. Using the appropriate instrumentation, a sample may be analyzed in several minutes.
The four diagnostic tools can detect the presence of the virus in the body quickly, usually within minutes. Rapid diagnostic capabilities are the most effective way of cutting off chains of infection, preventing prolonged quarantine and enabling the reopening of the global economy.
This massive sampling will shorten processes and advance the approval of effective technology. All tests will be validated using PCR tests.