Coronavirus breathalyzer, wearable armband tests are 'game changers' for economy

Several companies have been working on testing prototypes that could expedite a new normal

There are new COVID-19 tests coming to market, and one will require only a simple blow.

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A coronavirus breathalyzer test, a noninvasive device that can instantly diagnose COVID-19, could make uncomfortable swab tests and long lines a thing of the past.

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Several companies have been working on these noninvasive testing prototypes that could expedite the arrival of a new normal.

One version of the tests includes a wearable armband device with embedded sensors that can detect abnormalities in a person’s biometrics and other COVID-19 complications, in a process similar to facial pattern recognition that is used to unlock phones.

Anesthesiologist Dr. Frederick Hasty places the device on a patient (Credit: Tiger Tech)

The technology, created by software and tech service company Tiger Tech, can also be used for monitoring people outside of the hospital and will soon be found in schools, airports, cruise lines, and corporate offices around the globe.

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“We see this as a possible game-changer for the economy,” Tiger Tech CEO Harrison Wittels told FOX Business. “Right now, the goal is to get everyone back to their daily routines. This means people back at work, students back in schools, and travelers back on planes. We believe our device can play a major role in allowing this transition to happen quicker and, most importantly, safer.”

Tiger Tech’s COVID Plus Prescreening Monitor is anticipating a speedy approval from the FDA after applying for emergency use and working with the Army Research Office to secure the initial defense-funded technology. It is already being used in two sites in Miami, Mount Sinai hospital and a homeless shelter, and a school in Las Vegas.

“The COVID Plus device has been an invaluable piece of our overall risk mitigation and testing procedures, allowing us to provide our students with a positive school experience,” Las Vegas’ The Meadows School Head Jeremy Gregersen told FOX Business. “It is our hope that our participation can help provide other schools and children worldwide the chance to get back to school safely."

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While purchasing options are limited to corporations on a first-come, first-served basis, with the cost hinging on order volume, the device is in the process of getting the go-ahead for widespread availability.

Tiger Tech is not the only company with a non-invasive system racing to obtain authorization from the FDA.

Another company, Worlds Inc., in partnership with Texas A&M and the U.S. Air Force, is working on a breathalyzer prototype that can send results to a subject's cell phone in a matter of minutes or less. The Worlds Project test targets specific compounds that the body generates when it fights COVID-19.

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The Worlds Project is still in human-subject testing. It has already been deployed to hospitals and Air Force bases, and accuracy has been touted as equivalent to that of a PCR test.

Texas A&M is also offering kiosks in several locations around the campus to collect enough data to train the artificial intelligence to detect COVID-19. The AI technology will ultimately be able to detect strep throat, the flu and other viruses in the future.

Once the tests are able to go mainstream, identifying symptoms of COVID-19 in a quick manner will lead to increased survivability, according to the Army Research Office’s Dr. Stephen Lee.

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