New scanner that detects Covid-19 in people and surfaces to be manufactured in Mexico

Developed by specialists in the United States, Jordan, and Mexico, the scanner promises 100% effectiveness in detecting the virus in people and objects in a matter of seconds.

“They are kidding me, this is completely false”, was the first thing that Dr. Alejandro Díaz Villalobos, a specialist in allergy and immunology, thought when he heard about the development of a new technology capable of detecting the presence of Covid-19 in a matter of seconds on people and surfaces.

“I have experience in medical research in Mexico, the United States, Canada, and other parts of the world and I can tell you that never in my life have I seen such a revolutionary technology as this, which made me take a 22-hour flight to see for myself its effectiveness, ”he said in an exclusive interview with Forbes Mexico.

The medical researcher, who today is part of the project known as Covid Hunter, said that just over three months ago a panel of experts in biosafety, virology, and immunology traveled to Jordan to analyze, debate, and share advances and research in combat to the spread of the coronavirus.

“We debated many things and learned many more and as part of the meeting a group of experts presented a technology that, through the use of a laser scanner, no greater than the one we can find in self-service stores, we can detect the presence of the virus in people, all kinds of surfaces almost 2 meters away and even though plastic or thin glass ”, explained Díaz.

Although at first glance it looks like a laser scanner, the medical expert commented that the laser beam that it emits, together with software, analyzes the existence of the Covid-19 spike protein in real-time by refraction.

If the scanner detects the existence of the protein, it will emit an alert sound, if it is free of infection the system will not generate any sound.

In the tests presented by the team, the doctor explained, the results have had a 100% level of effectiveness in detecting not only positive Covid-19 samples validated via PCR test but also in differentiating between positive and negative patients. 

“We have to understand that vaccination is only part of the solution and think about how long it will take us to vaccinate 70 or 100% of the more than 7 billion people on the planet,” said Díaz.

The key, he added, at least for now, is prevention. Covid Hunter seeks to be a device, first for authorities and companies, that operate in high concentration areas such as restaurants, public transport, airports, or the like, to detect in real-time whether a person is infected or not.

“If we can immediately detect who is infected, we can mitigate their contact with other people or control their access,” he said. In addition, he said that since the scanner can find the presence of the virus on surfaces or clothes, the disinfection work becomes 100% accurate.

With stamp “Made in Mexico”

When asked by Forbes Mexico about the future of the device and next steps, Díaz Villalobos shared that the team of experts made up of specialists from Jordan, the United States and he, as the only Mexican, signed an agreement in which they determined that the manufacture and distribution of Covid Hunter will be in Mexico.

“You do not know the work it took to arrive and make Mexico the country of manufacture,” he revealed.

He added that for now they have begun talks with different companies specializing in the manufacture of medical devices to determine the levels of production, materials and distribution of the first units.

“I hope to have the first production prototype in three weeks” and although it has not been defined where it will be manufactured, Díaz Villalobos said that Chihuahua will be one of the first states to be consulted since there “are the most important companies globally in the manufacture of medical devices ”.

The scanner has the ability to detect the particular spike protein of Covid-19

The specialist hopes that once the first production is carried out, they can advance with the certification processes before health authorities such as the FDA in the United States and Cofepris in Mexico.

“I would ask Cofepris to allow us to move forward as quickly as possible with the entire process for authorization, especially because we are at the most critical point of the spread of the virus,” he mentioned.

Similarly, although Covid Hunter does not yet have a definitive price, Díaz Villalobos said that it will not be onerous and that the plan is “that once the first production lines are already in the centers of high human concentration, they expect this technology it can reach the hands of all because its objective is none other than to save human lives ”.

Source: Forbes Mexico

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