At-home tests have become an easy way to self-diagnose Covid-19, but tests such as the commonly used lateral flow have drawbacks, such as the length of time it takes to get an answer, or how accurately the test can identify a positive case.
Most of them also require the uncomfortable procedure of sticking a swab up one’s nose.
Though PCR tests are known as the “gold-standard” because of their high sensitivity and specificity for Covid-19, it requires the sample to be sent away to a lab and be analysed by specialised personnel.
The analysis itself can take up to an hour, but the total time from swab to answer can take days.
Image credit: Weihua Guan
The prototype device combines speed with PCR levels of sensitivity while only requiring a saliva sample, a palm-sized, portable device and a smartphone...