This palm-sized device can detect COVID in seconds, claim researchers

Written By: Sidharth MP WION
Chennai Published: Apr 19, 2021, 04:46 PM(IST)

One only has to place his palm in the glow Photograph:( WION )

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This is a much quicker process than the RT-PCR test which takes six hours to give results

Researchers at KJ Hospital Research and Postgraduate Center in Chennai have developed a palm-sized device that they say can detect COVID-19 infection in a matter of seconds. The device takes into consideration parameters such as Zeta potential, blood pressure, body temperature, Oxygen saturation and blood count. No pricks or invasions are needed.

A person needs to only place his hand in a plastic glove and results flash on the connected computer within seconds. This is a much quicker process than the RT-PCR test which takes 6 hours to give results.

The technology behind the device is based on measurement of a very small quantity of electricity which the human body generates. In a normal person, it ranges between 23 and 25 milliVolt (mV). As per the findings of the researchers, those infected with COVID show 5-15 mV reading.

The sensors can also detect low blood oxygen saturation and low count of White Blood Cells (WBC), Red Blood Cells (RBC) and platelets other than blood pressure and fever.

Research team said that the idea struck them during their study on cancer patients.

“We verified the results of our device with the RT-PCR results of hundreds of patients coming into the Stanley and Omandurar Hospitals in Chennai. There was a 100% match with the RT-PCR results and a nearly 98% match when compared to the standard blood count test,” said Dhejasvee Rajagopal and Arun Inbaraj, research associates at KJ Research Foundation.

"We are a unit that is recognised by the Department of Science and technology, Government of India,” said Dr Jegadeesan, Founder and Chief Surgeon of the Hospital.

The device cost around Rs 10,000 for its development but researchers say that they are confident that their manufacturing partner will produce it for much less. The team has filed for a patent of the device and has also published a research paper on its working.

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