Opteev Unveils the ViraWarn, Promises COVID-19, RSV, and Flu Breath Tests in Just 60 Seconds

Offering accurate diagnostics with just two breaths, this reusable health tool is awaiting FDA approval.

Self-diagnostic firm Opteev Technologies says it has developed a portable breath-testing device that can diagnose COVID-19, flu, and Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) infections in as little as 60 seconds — and is inviting people to go hands- and mouth-on at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) this week.

"We're looking forward to debuting ViraWarn to the public at CES this week," 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're spreading a dangerous respiratory virus so they can stop the spread and save lives in the process. As COVID, RSV, and influenza are continuing to surge, we're eager to bring ViraWarn to market so consumers can easily blow into a personal device and immediately find out if they're positive or negative."

The Opteev ViraWarn, being showcased at CES this week, promises a 60-second test for respiratory viruses. (📹: Opteev)

The compact ViraWarn gadget is based on a conductive polypyrrole-and-silk biosensor, which attracts respiratory viruses and an on-board machine learning system that is able read the changes in conductivity and filter out false positives to deliver what the company claims is an accurate result for COVID-19, flu, and RSV infections in as little as 60 seconds through a red-light-green-light indicator.

The ViraWarn is claimed to be reusable, thanks to a rechargeable battery and replacement biosensor cartridges that should be swapped out after a single positive reading or after two to three weeks of daily negative results — but while the company is showing the device off to the public now, it's not yet able to take orders: Opteev has applied for an emergency use authorisation (EUA) from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), but it has not yet been granted.

In its application the company makes bold claims: the device showed a sensitivity of over 95 per cent and a specificity of over 90 per cent in lab testing, on samples with a viral concentration as low as 5,000 particles. Clinical evaluation studies are also ongoing "within several medical centers," the company has confirmed.

Those attending CES in Las Vegas this week can find the ViraWarn in the North Hall at Booth #8317; more information is available on the company's website.

Gareth Halfacree
Freelance journalist, technical author, hacker, tinkerer, erstwhile sysadmin. For hire: freelance@halfacree.co.uk.
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