NRCT develops new breathalyser test based on old diabetes device

Tiersidh Nasomphan, one of the research team, presents their device that can detect Covid-19 from a person’s breath, at ‘Thailand Research Expo 2022’ on Friday at Centara Grand and Bangkok Convention Centre, CentralWorld. Chanat Katanyu

The National Research Council of Thailand (NRCT) has introduced a prototype of a breathalyser that can detect those infected with Covid-19 with 97% accuracy.

The innovative device was on display at “Thailand Research Expo 2022” — an event organized by the Higher Education, Science, Research and Innovation Ministry’s NRCT and other research networks nationwide that ended on Friday.

NRCT director Wiparat De-ong said the outbreak of Covid-19 called for new measures to curb transmission of the disease.

The NRCT then funded the development of the new medical device which was jointly produced by Radio Control Airplane Modeller Sport Association (RCSA) President Pisit Mitkuakun and teams from Rajavithi Hospital, Mahidol University and the private sector.

Mr. Pisit said the prototype can help screen for Covid-19 without needing a nasal swab or blood or saliva tests.

With its sensitivity and specificity, the device can issue an accurate result in five minutes, he said, adding it will cost about 10 baht.

Tiersidh Nasomphan, a researcher of the Faculty of Pharmacy at Mahidol University, said the device can distinguish between the odors of an infected and non-infected person.

The device is an enhanced version of an earlier tool that can detect diabetes from people’s breath. That device has been in use for 10 years, he said.

It is likely to retail before the end of the year, he added.


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