Baltimore-based technology company Opteev Technologies, Inc. will be showcasing a new breath analyzer at CES 2023 in Las Vegas next month that it says can detect COVID-19 and other viruses in under a minute. Called the ViraWarn, the device is pocket-sized, rechargeable, and has been submitted to the FDA for review.
ViraWarn can purportedly detect COVID-19, influenza, and RSV in less than a minute, says Opteev. Designed for self-testing, the company has conducted clinical trials, the results of which have been submitted to the FDA. It works using a silk-based biosensor that attracts the electrical discharge of respiratory viruses. An artificial intelligence processor filters out inaccuracies.
To use the ViraWarn breath analyzer, simply power it on, blow twice into the mouthpiece, and an LED notification light will tell you in 60 seconds if it’s a positive or negative result. It works with replaceable biosensor cartridges so it can be used again and again and comes with multiple cartridges to get you started out of the box. If used by the same individual, you only need to replace the cartridges after a positive test or 2-3 weeks of daily checks.
The FDA submission is for Pre-Emergency Use Authorization (Pre-EUA), the first recommended step towards FDA recognition. FDA scientific and technical subject experts will begin a review of the information to determine authorization. The idea, it appears, is for the ViraWarn to be used in place of, or as a secondary option to, things like rapid antigen COVID-19 tests.
“We’re extremely enthusiastic about the development of the world’s first affordable breath analyzer that can rapidly detect COVID-19, RSV, and Influenza in exhaled breath sample,” says Conrad Bessemer, President and Co-Founder of Opteev. “ViraWarn is designed to allow users an ultra-fast and convenient way to know if they are spreading a dangerous respiratory virus.
“With a continued increase in COVID-19 and a new surge in RSV and Influenza cases,” he continues, “we’re eager to bring ViraWarn to market so consumers can easily blow into a personal device and instantly find out if they are positive or negative. Opteev is looking forward to working with the FDA on this interactive review so that we can get ViraWarn to the public in a timely, expedient manner.”
With FDA approval still pending, it will be some time before we can confirm if the ViraWarn is a viable product. Either way, it is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice nor for diagnosis or treatment. It is always critical to check with your doctor should you be experiencing any type of symptoms of these viruses or other illnesses.
With that said, if ViraWarn is approved, blowing into a tube to see results will be a lot more attractive than the nasal passages route required now for rapid, at-home testing.