A team of Greek scientists from the Agricultural University of Athens have developed an application which could detect Covid-19 infections in three minutes.
Recent clinical trials have proven successful, and the team of scientists from the University are currently preparing to publish the scientific data they have collected.
App tests for Covid-19
The application, which could be downloaded onto the user’s phone, has been successful in detecting coronavirus infections immediately after they have occurred throughout clinical trials.
This could be a momentous success for coronavirus researchers, as it would help people stop spreading the virus unknowingly when they are asymptomatic.
The team have developed a biosensor which works to quickly detect the coronavirus with up to a 97.8% accuracy rate.
If the application is released in its current form, it would come with a sampling kit for easy use by consumers. The kit would contain a special swab in order for the patient to harvest samples from either their nose or their mouth, as well as a solution for the swab to be inserted into.
It would also use a small device — similar to the type used to detect blood sugar — which would connect to an individual’s phone in order to analyze the test results.
The accuracy of the app in conjunction with the Covid-19 detection kit is high, and comparable to traditional testing. The test has a sensitivity of 93%, with an accuracy rate of 97.8%, similar to PCR testing.
According to the director of the Cell Technology Laboratory of the Department of Biotechnology at the university, Spyros Kintzios, “the results of clinical trials show that the method is very reliable and in the near future will enable citizens to do test themselves at home even with saliva samples.
“Our university, in collaboration with distinguished Greek scientists, is a pioneer in the creation of extremely advanced cellular biosensors, not only for common viruses such as influenza but also for many other dangerous infectious diseases.”
Greece already has a free distribution of Covid-19 antigen self-tests by pharmacies program. The program is currently exclusively to high school students aged 16-18 and teachers, as well as hospitality sector workers.
The test is given upon presentation of a valid AMKA social security number. Together with the self test kit, recipients are given written instructions on the correct taking of the sample.
The registration of self tests per AMKA number is accomplished in real time to avoid the phenomenon of multiple tests being handed out by different pharmacies to the same person.
Self tests are rapidly detectable nasal-swab tests (using a nasal instead of nasopharyngeal / oral pharyngeal sample), performed at home and not requiring the supervision of a health professional.
Self-tests designed for healthy individuals
Authorities clarified that the individual self tests are designed for healthy and asymptomatic individuals.
For those with symptoms of infection, i.e., a fever, cough or other symptoms, a negative test must always also be confirmed by performing a molecular test.
This means that self-tests must be carried out even if there are no symptoms of COVID-19, since one in three carriers of the virus is asymptomatic.
The Covid-19 app developed by the Agricultural University of Athens could revolutionize self-testing, allowing people to get almost-instant results.