Breathonix, a spin-off company from National University of Singapore (NUS), has developed an easy-to-use breath test to detect COVID-19 within a minute. This game-changing technology is believed to be the first in Asia, NUS said in a press statement.
In a Singapore-based pilot clinical trial that involved 180 patients, the test kit achieved more than 90 per cent accuracy.
The test is simple to administer – a person only needs to blow into a disposable mouthpiece connected to a high-precision breath sampler. The exhaled breath is collected and fed into a spectrometer for measurement.
A machine learning software analyses the profile of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) present in the exhaled breath, and generates the result in less than a minute.
Breathonix was founded by two NUS graduates, Jia Zhunan and Du Fang, and supported by the NUS Graduate Research Innovation Programme (GRIP) which encourages graduate students and research staff to establish high potential start-ups based on deep technologies.
“Our breath test is easy to administer, and it does not require specially-trained staff or laboratory processing,” said Jia, Chief Executive Officer of Breathonix.
"Results are generated in real-time, making it an attractive solution for mass screening, especially in areas with high human traffic. We believe our breath analysis platform shows promise in changing the tides of this pandemic," she added.