Israeli company Virusight's device detects COVID-19 in 20 seconds - study

The Virusight solution was tested on 550 saliva samples and found to be safe and effective.

Virusight Diagnostic (photo credit: Virusight Diagnostic)
Virusight Diagnostic
(photo credit: Virusight Diagnostic)

Virusight Diagnostic, an Israeli company that combines artificial intelligence software and spectral technology, announced the results of a study that found its Pathogens Diagnostic device detects COVID-19 with 96.3% accuracy in comparison to the common RT-PCR (reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction) test.

The study was conducted by researchers from the Department of Science and Technology, University of Sannio, Benevento, Italy, with partner company TechnoGenetics SpA.

Virusight is a collaboration between Tel Hashomer’s Sheba Medical Center ARC Innovation Center and Newsight Imaging, a company that develops CMOS (complementary metal oxide semiconductor) image sensor chips used in cameras and mobile devices.

The experiment

The Virusight solution was tested on 550 saliva samples from male and female subjects of all ages, showing an overall sensitivity of 92.7%. The Virusight solution was found to be safe and effective at detecting SARS-CoV-2 antigens and viral particles in the samples, diagnosing COVID-19 within 20 seconds.

 COVID-19: People living in the shadow of the coronavirus (Illustrative). (credit: PIXABAY) COVID-19: People living in the shadow of the coronavirus (Illustrative). (credit: PIXABAY)

“The findings of this Clinical Report herald the introduction of the next generation of pathogens diagnostic and point of care testing. The real value of this way of testing will be seen at the point of care. Having this technology available in pharmacies, aged care facilities and clinics will enable definitive diagnosis immediately, resulting in better control of the pandemic, and also in faster treatment and better health outcomes for patients worldwide.”

Sheba Medical Center Chief Innovation Officer Professor Eyal Zimlichman

Virusight’s SpectraLIT device obtains spectral signatures of the samples from mouth swabs and analyzes machine-learning algorithms that identify SARS-CoV-2. The device then sends the results to a phone or computer in 20 seconds.

The Virusight device is registered as an approved in vitro diagnostic (IVD) device. It has the CE mark for the European market and is pending regulatory approval in the United States, The United Kingdom, Latin America and Asia Pacific. It will be available in Europe in the coming weeks, according to the company.