By rapid testing here I mean almost instantaneous. Or what’s the same in-situ testing.
I think there is some value in in-situ testing when we have people going by car to take tests and triage of these is done by a symptoms matching algorithm.
- Does this person present condition, X,Y,Z?
- Is it persistent? …
If so, then needs further testing. Else, take a sample and send them away.
But on the scenario I’m setting up here, you will let them know right in there without getting out of their car.
How could this work?
Well, I’m fairly positive this is not only possible but fairly much doable in less than 3 months. And there are some reasons this might be.
The way we are testing (mostly) is for antibodies in your blood - so if you have had COVID19 and your immune system cells have been exposed to the virus your body will have created antibodies which cam effectively combat the virus.
This tests are performed by taking a swap out of someone’s deeper nasal cavity and place them into an agent to get the virus into the agent. Once there, a sample of this is pippetted into a pcr tube and onto a PCR machine to create replicas of the virus. This is done by applying heat and spinning at quite some speed a rotary object containing the sample. Then you can perform tests with that liquid because you can be fairly sure the liquid contians many replicas.
Another technique is hinted in minute 34 of the BBC documentary Horizzon 2020 Coronavirus special where a technique with a different liquid which left at only 60 degrees on a heating block for 30 minutes can accurately signal a COVID19 containing sample of one which doesnt
And this is great. The problem with this technique is the medium of “reproduction”. Using a similar technique you would use with a PCR machine makes it way slowlier than it should.
So my idea basically changes the reproduction medium and visualisation of results medium to be one which can speed the reaction and show the results clearly.