Finnish companies develop instant COVID-19 breathalyzer

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HELSINKI, June 29 (Xinhua) -- Finnish companies have developed a COVID-19 breathalyzer, which can provide a result in two minutes and one test costs only 2 euros (2.25 U.S. dollars), said one of the developers, Forum Virium Helsinki. in a press release issued on Monday.

The breathalyzer uses artificial intelligence (AI) to identify the novel coronavirus in air exhaled by patients. Customers will blow into the device, where nanosensors will detect and measure short-lived organic compounds.

The breathalyzer would be the cheapest and quickest COVID-19 test in the world, claimed innovation company Forum Virium Helsinki, which has developed the technology in cooperation with software firm Deep Sensing Technologies.

"We are engaged in innovative cooperation with corporations to solve the coronavirus crisis and we will help firms to use the city as a development platform. We are utilizing artificial intelligence and digitalization," said Mika Malin, chief executive officer (CEO) of Forum Virium Helsinki, in the press release.

The technology was developed as part of a Co-created and Wellbeing project funded by Finland's Helsinki-Uusimaa Regional Council, a joint regional authority for the region.

According to Forum Virium Helsinki, medical professionals at Helsinki's Laakso health station are set to begin a trial this summer to investigate whether the novel coronavirus can be effectively identified from a patient's exhalation.

The breathalyzer will be tested using control groups in Finland and Kazakhstan, and later this summer in the Netherlands and the United States, said the press release.

Once production starts, the first devices are scheduled to be delivered in August, said Forum Virium Helsinki. The same devices will be fit for use in the future to detect other diseases from air patients exhale, according to Deep Sensing Technologies.

The Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare said that as of Monday afternoon, Finland had confirmed 7,209 COVID-19 infections, of which 18 were new. The death toll stood at 328. No death was reported in the past 24 hours. About 6,600 people were estimated to have recovered, accounting for 90 percent of the reported cases. Enditem

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