Detecting COVID by saline gargle and AI artificial intelligence
03:46:00 | 07-06-2021

Bkav is researching a COVID testing device via SALINE, that people to be tested can gargle, then put it in a test tube, press a button and get the results after 10 seconds, using AI artificial intelligence technology.

This is what I said the other day, in an online exchange about the application of AI in the fight against COVID-19, on VNE.

The whole content is as follows:

Artificial intelligence is effective. We are working on a COVID testing device. Currently, each test costs 200-700 thousand VND. Sampling is complex, and training is required for people taking samples. Even so, there is still an error rate in sampling.

We are working on a COVID Detector: The people to be tested use saline to rinse their mouth, put it in a test tube and then in the device, press the button, and get the results after 10 seconds. While now the test takes half an hour or even hours.

We are working with the National Hospital for Tropical Diseases. The initial results are positive. The initial reception rate is good, above 90%. If the device succeeds, it will change the strategy of fighting against COVID.

For example, in industrial parks, workers just need to rinse their mouths with saline in the morning, put it in the testing machine to know who is negative and who is positive. If a worker is negative, continue to work. If a worker is positive, go to the isolation area. The screening campaign can be done quickly, without spending money, only using saline, no need for test kits and biological products which are sometimes expensive, and even in a shortage.

This technology uses artificial intelligence AI. We use a frequency band of light, shine it into a test tube containing saline mouthwash of the person to be tested, then collect it with a sensor on the output, and measure which frequencies are absorbed to a greater or lesser extent and different absorption frequencies will detect different diseases. In this case, it is COVID, but we can’t see the difference of those frequencies with our naked eyes. We have to train the AI, so that it knows what samples are from COVID patients and which are from normal people. The initial results are very good.

A reader asked: How does the COVID test applying saline work, what are the benefits, how do we use it, how effective is it?

In fact, if the solution is successful, it will change our strategy, I think not only the strategy in Vietnam but also the strategy in the world on COVID prevention. We will easily, quickly, simply detect a person infected with COVID.

We also know vaccination is to achieve herd immunity, so as not to spread the virus from one person to another easily, through the shield of vaccinated people. It’s almost the same here. If we can immediately isolate infected people, we will almost create a shield. This will change the strategy. At this time, we save money and effort, and the feasibility is high.

Bkav is not the only one doing this. We know that Israel is also working on this technology.

We’ve been doing this since December last year, testing at the National Hospital for Tropical Diseases, taking training samples for AI. We only talk about this when seeing the effect.

In the next few days, we will have the official result. It is clear that the strategy against COVID will change if we have such testing tools.

Or recently in Singapore, they also introduce testing technology that uses breath. If that technology develops, it will also change the strategy. Then, with the technology of using saline, it is even simpler, the investment for a test is much cheaper, no need to spend money, just using saline. The device that uses breath is more complicated. This technology hopes to have good results and will be shared with you in the near future.

You can watch the conversation here.

CEO Nguyen Tu Quang