Near Johannesburg, South Africa, Canary Health Technologies, partners and other researchers are preparing for human trials of a medical device designed and engineered with help from SmartShape. The rapid breath testing device, if successful, will deliver real-time results in less than five minutes and offers the clear advantages of non-invasiveness, ease of use and flexibility for proximity of use in settings other than hospitals.
In clinical testing scenarios, the scientists will use a sensitive, handheld device fitted with disposable nano-sensors designed to pick up gases in a normal, exhaled breath. Phase I of the study calls for breath samples collected from sixty COVID-19 positive and 90 negative controls. From there, a cloud-based pattern-recognition technology will determine if a COVID-19 breath pattern can be established with accuracy.
Canary Health is planning to conduct additional clinical trials of the device in both the UK and the US, according to Anna Wang, Canary’s senior vice president for corporate affairs. Canary hopes to seek accelerated regulatory approval in South Africa and hope to have the testing device on the market before the end of the year.