FDA-approved COVID breathalyzer test gives results in 3 minutes
FDA-approved COVID breathalyzer test gives results in 3 minutes

FDA-approved COVID breathalyzer test gives results in 3 minutes

Last week Food and Drug Administration approved InspectIR COVID-19 Breathalyzer that can have up to 99% accuracy to detect negative tests in three minutes.

How does it work?

  • To take the test, patients blow into a tube attached to a chemical analyzer. The machine then analyzes the exhalation samples and detects them for elements of COVID-19, according to The New York Times.
  • The test, which can give results in less than three minutes, must be performed under the supervision of an authorized healthcare provider, Associated Press reported.

How accurate is the test? That FDA indicates that the device is 91.2% accurate to identify positive COVID-19 cases and 99.3% accurate to identify negative tests.

  • However FDA recommends a molecular test to confirm positive tests, and “negative results should be considered in the context of a patient’s recent exposures, history, and the presence of clinical signs and symptoms consistent with COVID-19.”

Limitations of the test: That FDA stated that although the results are fast and mostly accurate, the machine could fail to detect 1 in 10 positive cases, according to The Washington Post.

  • There are also other factors that can skew the results, such as the food you eat before the test. Instructions for the test specify that patients should not eat, drink or use tobacco products within 15 minutes of taking the test, according to New York Times.

Looking to the future: The tests are not expected to hit the market for 10 to 12 months, said the co-founders of InspectIR Systems, the company that manufactures the machines, according to New York Times.

“The device’s pricing has not yet been finalized, but co-founders said Friday they hope to offer licenses or subscriptions that translate to a price of around $ 10 to $ 12 per test,” The reported. New York Times.

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