What if someone told you that you no longer have to go for a chaotic PCR test and instead you can do your Covid test using a smartphone and get results that are as accurate as PCR. The scientists were able to create a highly sensitive Covid test that relied solely on a low-tech kit and a smartphone, which could be used as a faster, cheaper alternative to PCR testing.
The test uses a process called Loop-Mediated Isothermal Amplification (Lamp) to amplify viral RNA in saliva and detect specific target genes. The free-to-use app uses a smartphone camera to measure color changes that indicate a chemical reaction and identify a diagnosis every 25 minutes. When tested in 50 Covid patients, it matched the PCR test for sensitivity.
The researchers are positive that the smartphone-based LAMP assay offers the potential to provide a critical tool to reduce further episodes of the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, the LAMP assay can be easily engineered to respond to new variants of CoV-2 and other pathogens with pandemic potential, including influenza. But it still needs more experimentation and testing to confirm its reliability.
Stay tuned for more updates.