The overwhelming global spread of the Coronavirus caught the entire medical service sector unprepared. Apart from the resources needed to be invested in patient’s hospitality and breath support machinery, early detection, becomes the main focal point of every health organization around the globe.
Early and fast detection of the virus infection can lead to a rapid isolation of the infected population and prevent community infection which is the main cause of the pandemic.
Early January, at the start of the COVID-19 outbreak, a typical testing and verification of the virus lasted about three hours. Tests has been made using qPCR machines, which cost between 45,000$ to 55,000$, depends on the number of wells used in the machine. Additionally, to the basic cost, there are consumables that significantly increase the cost of each test. Buying qPCR, PCR Handbook. Buying qPCR
One other factor that contributed to the length of the test is the manpower, which must be highly trained and located in a special isolated lab located mostly in large medical centres.
All of the factors described above, which represent the current situation, prevents the health officials from a wide allocation of the testing and detecting points around the country which further increase the time consumed between the patient's sampling and the actual detection and verification of the virus. A typical time consumed between sampling and detection is between 5 to 24 hours and in some cases even 48 hours. The time includes the sampling process, the delivery to diagnostic facility and the actual diagnosis process in the current available devices like qPCR. Depends on each country regulation, the tested patient, while waiting for the test results, is either staying in hospital, sometime among other non-related patients or in-home isolation with other family members. Both options are contributing to the virus spread and infection. PCR Handbook
According to health officials, the efficiency of the early detection and its accessibility to as many testing and detection points as possible is a key factor in fighting the spread of the virus. To allow speed and a wide spread of the testing verification machines, the machine needs to be fast, have a low price point for the basic machine and the consumables and it needs to be easy to operate.
Newsight’s proposed solution, has a well proved feasibility and could very well answer the needs above.
Newsight’s proposed solution, has a well proved feasibility and could very well answer the needs above. Newsight is estimating the equipment cost to range between 1,000 euro for the single testing well and 5,000 euro for 100 wells machine. Consumables are estimated at approximately 1 euro at the early stages of deployment. The accuracy of the detection is based on a spectral signatures database, to whom the machine is comparing the results and creating an existent/non-existent result. As we are facing a large number of signatures in the tested substance, a reliable machine learning process and AI is required to make accurate detection.
AI is taking a significant role in the fight against the Coronavirus (AI To help in Coronavirus Detection). Newsight’s technology allows for tens of thousands of signatures to be acquired from the tested substance per second. These signatures, when being uploaded to the cloud, will contribute to the system’s machine learning which will lead to AI enabling better detection and improved accuracy. Outcome from the AI process is being uploaded back to the detecting machine which becomes “smarter” over time. The proposed solution could bring significant impact on the market, by allowing medical facility and staff to use a device which is constantly updated with new diagnosis factors and be able to provide a quick testing result. The single well device could be deployed among private clinics, emergency medical staff and in any testing points which will be deployed in emergency. At a later stage, the same device could be uploaded with diagnosis factors for other viruses as well.