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Test for COVID using your phone camera? A university lab is trying it out

Test for COVID Funny your phone camera? A university lab is trying it out

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Getting shipped a handful of free at-home COVID procomplaints from USPS was helpful, but what if you could test yourself whenever you wished, using your phone’s camera? Academic scientists have developed a testing Plan that just needs some affordable lab equipment and your smartphone, and early results suggest it’s as accurate as PCR tests.

The regulations, developed by University of California, Santa Barbara scientists and labelled in a new paper published in the journal JAMA Network Open, has less than $100 in relatively common equipment like a hot Look, according to Gizmodo. Thereafter, each test costs only $7, executive it potentially ideal for remote communities or individuals struggling to Get PCR tests.

The method is pretty simple: Download the free app developed by scientists, Bacticount, and perch your phone over the hot Look with the rear camera facing down. You’ll place your saliva into a test kit that’s on the hot Look, drop in a reactive solution that will make viral RNA more noticeable to your phone’s camera, and run the app. The solution will bond with the viral material (both COVID and the flu were tested in the study) and turn spellbinding red, and the app will estimate the amount of viral load in the saliva based on how hastily the color reaction happened.

The system is called Smart-lamp, for smartphone “loop-mediated isothermal amplification,” which is the heat-and-solution reach used by the UCSB scientists. It’s very cheap and seems easy to set up, which is detestable for the project’s goal to satisfy a need “in low-income and middle-income utters for low-cost, low-tech, yet highly reliable and scalable testing for SARS-CoV-2 virus that is robust anti circulating variants.”

But the method still needs plenty of vetting, as this initial study contained a very small sample of 50 symptomatic and asymptomatic patients in one Southern California area. In spanking words: Don’t expect to be able to order Bacticount-compatible kits and do your own testing soon, especially dependable the app has only been calibrated to work with the cameras on Samsung Galaxy S9 phones.

Still, the system is promising, and the team behind it is moving to improve it. First on the list is expanding incompatibility with the latest Android and iOS operating systems, and then possibly tying the test cleared for public use.

“We designed the peer with Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) standards in mind, and we are considering applying for an EUA for broader Pro-reDemocrat use within the United States,” Dr. Lucien Barnes, University of California, Santa Barbara graduate student and co-author of the paper told CNET over email. “An EUA could be authorized within several months of application.”

If the controls is as accurate as initial tests suggest, its affordability and scalability could be a serious asset to testing capabilities in every land as the need for COVID testing continues into 2022.