UAE, Israeli firms join hands to develop COVID-19 breath test

El Al planes parked at Ben Gurion Airport near Tel Aviv, Israel, April 21, 2013. (AP Photo)
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G42 Healthcare, a subsidiary of Abu Dhabi-based technology company Group 42 (G42), announced it has signed a memorandum of understanding with NanoScent, an Israeli company specialized in scent reading technologies, to explore collaborations in the development, validation, distribution and manufacturing of Scent Check, a revolutionary solution capable of detecting suspected cases of COVID-19 from a sample of exhaled nasal air.

The Scent Check device detects a combination of volatile organic compounds, or “VOC Signature”, from exhaled nasal air that is derived from the host response to the SARS-CoV-2 infection.

The air sample is captured through an “Air trap”, a small bag fitted with a straw in which the tested subject needs to blow nasal air. A machine learning-based model is then used to analyze, diagnose, and label the VOC Signature and provide the result of the test in 30 to 60 seconds.

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Executives from both companies took part in a signing ceremony held via video conference between the UAE and Israel.

G42 Healthcare, which has been recently leading the operations of the world’s first Phase III clinical trial for the COVID-19 inactivated vaccine and various other population-scale programs, will conduct thousands of tests of the new solution in the coming weeks to validate its efficacy and increase its accuracy prior market launch.

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