As with so much else these days, COVID-19 is driving a lot of stuff in the technology space. Even if you’ve not undergone a COVID test yourself, you’ve heard stories about the nasal swabs seeming to go much further than they possibly could. Well, what if you could skip that discomfort and use some saliva instead?
That’s what this device – developed between MIT and Harvard – is built to do. In an hour’s time, it can examine a saliva sample, and determine if SARS-CoV-2 is present in the sample or not. Not only that, a study is showing that this new tester is getting results as accurate as the PCR tests now being used, and being held up as the “gold standard”.
What’s interesting here is that the device was developed relying on CRISPR tech and can be assembled for – get this – just $15. Past that, they’re estimating that done at a larger scale, costs could come down to like $2 or $3, which means it’s a device that could be at health centers without access to the PCR test, or even in your own home if you wanted or needed to run the tests. If it comes to that, there’s a smartphone app that goes along with it so you can report results out to your local health department.
It’s another new use of that CRISPR technology, and if the virus (and its variants, which this device can detect) sticks around (as it seems to be doing), something like this could certainly be a boon if it became widespread. If you want to read up more on this tech, check out the full article here: news.mit.edu