Trust the Israelis.
A newly developed saliva test to diagnose COVID-19 correctly identifies evidence of the SARS-CoV-2 novel coronavirus in the human body within a second, 96 percent of the time, and also diagnoses a variety of other viruses, according to Israel’s biggest hospital, Sheba Medical Center.
Israeli researchers from the ‘New Sight’ company working at Sheba who developed the test say the patient simply rinses his mouth with saline solution, then spits into a test tube. The tube is then placed into a device that emits light, and analyzes the reflection received from the substance in the tube, according to which the device processes the data received and thus determines whether the patient is infected with COVID-19, or not.
“The light projected through the test tube creates a light signature with a certain curve,” Professor Eli Schwartz, director of the Tropical Medicine Center at Sheba, explained to the Hebrew-language Ynet site. “Through artificial intelligence, the device processes the curve and can identify a person’s status and the type of virus, if one exists.”
The test, so far conducted with 250 subjects age 18 and over, was indeed able to distinguish between different viruses in addition to SARS-CoV-2. The device used to process the samples costs about $200, and each individual test costs about 25 cents, or 85 agorot, in Israeli currency.
“The device can be placed in airports, concert halls, military camps, and even at home,” said Schwartz. “It’s cheap, simple, the test is not invasive and it’s very accurate.”
Applications to world health authorities for approval of the test, developed by Israeli researchers at Sheba Medical Center, have already been submitted.