A Canadian firm has developed a wall-mounted gadget it claims can detect the presence of coronavirus within the air, and ship an alert.
Kontrol Power hopes its BioCloud units could possibly be utilized in hospitals, transport programs and colleges – however has no orders as but.
One skilled, who independently examined the system, mentioned he believed it labored.
However one other advised the BBC it could want many extra assessments earlier than he was satisfied of its efficacy.
The gadget analyses air high quality, samples of that are despatched to a detection chamber that may be arrange for Covid-specific testing. In accordance with the agency, the units use “three unbiased seize methods” that enable for virus sampling, however it doesn’t clarify what these are.
The agency mentioned it had acquired curiosity within the gadget from “across the globe”.
“There’s a vital want for expertise that may present us with assurances that the workplaces, colleges, healthcare environments and different areas we bodily occupy are protected and freed from infectious illness,” mentioned Paul Ghezzi, chief government of Kontrol.
Dr David Heinrichs, professor of microbiology and immunology at Western College in Ontario, mentioned his lab had examined the gadget.
“There is not any doubt in my thoughts that this expertise can shortly and successfully detect an array of airborne pathogens, together with the virus that causes Covid-19,” he mentioned.
However Prof Alan McNally from Birmingham College was not satisfied.
“I feel that is simply one other check being marketed with completely no sturdy, unbiased validation and testing, and I’d say I’m extraordinarily sceptical on its use.”
He mentioned that it could want “an unbelievable quantity of unbiased testing”.
He additionally mentioned it was unclear what the process for colleges and companies could be if the alarm sounded: “How precisely one would act if Covid within the air was detected is moderately past me.”
Kontrol mentioned it could be as much as the administrator of the gadget to resolve methods to proceed, however it could enable “outbreaks to be contained”.
The agency acquired a $50,000 (£38,000) grant from the Nationwide Analysis Council of Canada to develop its BioCloud gadget.
Every unit will price an estimated $12,000 and the agency hopes to have the ability to manufacture as much as 20,000 monthly.