Covid-19 Breathalyser Kits May Be In Public Places By Mar 2021, Results Take Under A Minute

Covid-19 Breathalyser Testing Is Less Invasive With Over 90% Accuracy

With Singapore relaxing various Phase 2 restrictions, the need for faster screening methods have also come into the spotlight since visitors will need to be tested before attending large events.

A Covid-19 breathalyser test may be rolled out in public spaces as early as Mar 2021.

The breathalyser test is non-invasive and is expected to be over 90% accurate. Here’s a quick introduction to the test kit.

By merely breathing into a tube, people will be able to know their results in less than a minute.

Covid-19 breathalyser trial successful

Breathonix’s breathalyser test kit has completed a trial at the National Centre for Infectious Diseases (NCID) on Thursday (Oct 29), reports Channel NewsAsia (CNA).

The NUS tech spin-off says it is discussing with the Ministry of Health (MOH) to trial the breathalyser at public locations in the near future.


Furthermore, company chairman Associate Professor Neo Kok Beng said discussions with a “major hospitality player” is in the works to roll out breathalysers at events like conferences.

However, this can only be done after getting the green light from the Health Sciences Authority (HSA).

Covid-19 breathalyser analysis is automatic

In their website, Breathonix says that their breathalyser uses a mass spectrometer to detect volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in exhalations.

Covid-19 breathalyserSource

The in-built software compares the readings with their clinical data to detect diseases with an accuracy of over 90%.

Users can exhale via a disposable mouthpiece into a one-way valve that reduces cross-contamination.

Breathalyser can give results in 1 minute

At a press conference on 29 Oct, Associate Professor Neo said the system could be used for mass screening due to its ability to provide results in 60 seconds.


He added that the company can contribute to the global economy with cost-effective, quick and accurate screening.

Breathonix says each test may cost $20 USD, which is more than 70% cheaper than a swab test.

However, as the breathalyser is not as sensitive compared to polymerase chain reaction (PCR) swab test, it is not meant to be a diagnostic test kit.

The Straits Times reports that it is more of a first-level screening device.

Rapid screening may be on the horizon

With swab tests being described as slow and uncomfortable, this non-invasive breathalyser test may be a step forward towards faster detection of Covid-19.

Should the breathalyser test be rolled out, it could bring Singapore closer towards the end of the tunnel.

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Featured image adapted from National University of Singapore on Facebook.

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