A Chennai-based hospital invented a unique way to diagnose COVID-19. With the help of NanoScience, KJ Hospital Research & Postgraduate Centre invented a low-cost COVID detecting device. And demonstrated a human palm-sized device, which they claim can detect Covid-19 based on parameters such as Zeta Potential, blood pressure, body temperature, Oxygen saturation, blood count, all in a matter of seconds. 

That too, with no pricks and invasive methods. Just place your palm covered in a plastic glove (to prevent infection) on the device and within seconds the results flash on the connected computer, as against the minimum 6 hours required to get an RT-PCR test result. .

The technology behind the device is based on measurement of a very small quantity of electricity which the human body generates. In a normal person, it ranges between 23 and 25 milliVolt (mV). As per the findings of the researchers, those infected with COVID show 5-15 mV reading.

The sensors can also detect low blood oxygen saturation and low count of White Blood Cells (WBC), Red Blood Cells (RBC) and platelets other than blood pressure and fever.

The team says that this idea stemmed during their study conducted on Cancer patients, which showed a Zeta Potential of upto 68mV, which indicates high temperature, current and a rapid multiplication of cells.

The lessons learnt from their work in using copper and silver nanoparticles in prosthetic heart valves to prevent blood clots, infections also contributed to the latest breakthrough to combat Covid-19. 

“We verified the results of our device with the RT-PCR test results of hundreds of patients coming into the Stanley and Omandurar Hospitals in Chennai. There was a 100% match with the RT-PCR results and the whole process takes 3-7 seconds only. The overall efficiency rate of the KJ COVID -19 tracker is 98.2%.

While it cost around Rs.10,000 to develop the device over the last 15 months, the team are hopeful that their manufacturing partners will be able to produce it for much less, when done in bulk. The team has filed a patent on the device and also published a research paper on its working.

“My role is ideation, Research & development, there are other partners who will be taking it up for commercial manufacturing and exploitation. We are a unit that is recognized by the Department of Science and technology, Government of India” Dr. Jegadeesan, FRCS, Founder and Chief Surgeon of the Hospital told a News portal.

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