US scientists develop smartphone app to detect Covid-19 and flu

smartphone Covid

Scientists at the University of California, Santa Barbara, have created a device that will allow you to test Covid-19 with simplicity utilizing your smartphone.

According to preliminary tests, the result is as reliable as the PCR test in detecting infection. ‘Smartphone-based LAMP assay integrates reliable diagnostics with the advantages of smartphone detection, offering an inexpensive diagnostic platform for SARS-CoV-2 and influenza A and B viruses that match the CDC RT-qPCR criterion standards,’ according to the research paper published in the journal JAMA Network Open.

UC Santa Barbara professor Charles Samuel said: “SmaRT-LAMP can detect Covid-19 and can be readily modified to detect novel CoV-2 variants and other pathogens with pandemic potential, including influenza.”

Read more: Smartphone sensors could detect COVID-19

The smartphone-based LAMP test, according to the researchers, has the potential to be a vital tool in containing the COVID-19 pandemic in its later phases. The LAMP assay may also be easily modified to address new CoV-2 mutations and other viruses with pandemic potential, such as influenza.

According to Cnet, test subjects must download the Bacticount app developed by scientists and place their phone over a hot plate with the back camera facing down. You put your saliva in a test kit on a hot plate, then add a reactive solution. Based on the speed of a colour reaction, the app will next calculate the extent of the viral load in the saliva.

While the research appears to be promising, however, experts believed that it still needs further research before it can be made public.

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