(STUDY FINDS) -- BERKELEY, Calif. — The demand for testing during the coronavirus pandemic has put a strain on medical centers around the world. As scientists work to simplify the process, a team in California has come up with a way to spot the virus using an ordinary cell phone camera. Using a special device attached to a regular smartphone, researchers say they can accurately test nasal swabs for SARS-CoV-2 — the virus causing COVID-19.
“Our study shows that we can do the detection part of this assay very quickly, making the measurement with mass-produced consumer electronics,” says Daniel Fletcher, a bioengineer at the University of California-Berkeley, in a media release. “We don’t need fancy laboratory equipment.”
Fletcher and study co-author Melanie Ott, a virologist at Gladstone Institutes, collaborated with Nobel laureate Jennifer Doudna for two years on creating a rapid test for HIV that patients could take in their homes. Their focus shifted after seeing the need for more viral load testing during the ongoing pandemic.
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