A Mumbai-based diagnostic company, MediCircle launched a portable COVID-19 testing tool on Monday. This testing platform is powered by artificial intelligence that taps into the process of machine learning and delivers results in just one second. Christened as SpectraLIT- Spectral Instant Test, it detects the virus by detecting its spectral signature from using nasal or mouthwash samples and eliminates the need for complex lab equipment and chemicals.
93.5% concordance with RT-PCR
With the help of MediCircle's COVID testing device, a COVID infected person can be distinguished from a healthy person instantly. Scientific studies conducted using SpectraLIT in Israel have shown that test results from this overlap with RT-PCR in 95 per cent of the cases. A validation study for the same was done in India which showed concordance (sensitivity) of 93.5 per cent to RT-PCR.
One of the Partners at MediCircle highlighted the importance of this testing tool for India, as he was quoted saying- "A few months ago when we experienced a Covid-19 crisis at home, we understood the importance of a fast testing kit and how it can drastically uplift the current situation. With SpectraLIT, India will be able to test accurately and rapidly -- not within days, not within hours, not within minutes but within seconds."
SpectraLIT can be deployed in major cities and in rural hotspots to detect the spread of this deadly contagion in real-time. Hence, this latest advance in the field of medical care is being attached with the adjective of life-saving. Currently awaiting FDA approval in the US, it has been tested in 36 hospitals across North America, Latin America, Asia Pacific, Europe and the Middle West countries.
Newsight Imaging, which specialises in developing advanced machine vision chip sensors, collaborated with Sheba Medical Centre's ARC Innovation Centre in Israel to develop SpectraLIT. For the Asia-Pacific region, this technology has been licensed to Hong Kong-based AI Innobio and India's MediCircle Health has an exclusive tie-up with this organisation to launch this test here.
Since this testing device works on machine learning, the AI algorithm will improve with the increase in the data set of spectral signature. This shall aid the ultimate goal of introducing this device in India- faster pandemic management by obtaining accurate results in lesser time.
SpectraLIT has been authorised by international standards, like European Union CE-IVD, for use in the diagnosis of COVID-19. This mark is recognised and accepted by the Indian medical authority, ICMR, as well. Moreover, it has been launched in 7 countries and approved by ICTS (European airport security giant) to offer a quick screening process for passengers at European airports.
Future of SpectraLIT
The algorithm can be adjusted to detect different variants of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus. With more innovations, eventually, this platform shall enable detection of other infectious diseases such as Influenza, Tuberculosis, Malaria, Dengue and UTIs, as well ass, non-communicable diseases, like sickle-cell diseases.
-With inputs from IANS