In the near future, the coronavirus will be detected by sneezing or coughing on a phone with a tiny sensor that gives results within 60 seconds, according to news reports
Massoud Tabib-Azar, a professor of engineering at the University of Utah, said he leads a team of researchers developing a 25-cent coin-size device that can be connected to the phone’s charging port and check for saliva particles for the virus. “If someone breathes, coughs, sneezes or blows on the sensor, they can indicate if they have COVID-19,” Tabib-Azar explained.
If the virus is in the body, the DNA strands in the sensor will contact the virus proteins, triggering an electrical resistance that signals a positive result, Tabib Azar said. “The sensor will change color or somehow visually indicate the presence of COVID-19 so it can be seen with the naked eye,” the scientist added. Tabib-Azar said the gadget will be available within 3 months because he already prototyped the sensor a year ago to help detect the Zeke virus carried by mosquitoes. “The plan is to instead schedule the sensor to detect COVID-19,” said the scientist, who received a $200,000 grant from the National Science Foundation Rapid Response to develop the new device, KTVX news station reported. Tabib-Azar said the gadget could be produced inexpensively and would be a less invasive way to test for a virus. At the moment, people are tested with a nose swab when the nose and throat mucosa are removed. “I think it will help with quarantine and give people the confidence that they are in a safe environment,” Masood Tabib-Azar told KSL-TV News Station.