Two British companies are preparing to launch a simple COVID-19 saliva screening test that aims to provide an accurate result within 20 seconds—following its first uses at London’s Heathrow airport, one of the busiest in the world. The Virolens device, developed by iAbra, uses a digital microscope and artificial intelligence-powered software to visually search a mouth swab sample for signs of the novel coronavirus.
The machine provides a low-cost, repeatable and self-administered method of screening, allowing hundreds of cartridge-based tests to be performed each day, according to iAbra’s manufacturing partner TT Electronics. Validation studies by the University of Bristol have pegged the system’s false-negative rate of 0.2%, alongside a false-positive rate of 3.3%.The Virolens device underwent its first rounds of field testing among Heathrow employees, and its developers are now planning full clinical trials to gain certifications for medical use.
Personal Stories Most Likely to Influence People Toward COVID-19 Shot
As coronavirus vaccines edge closer to market, the next question is how pharma companies and public health authorities will convince people to get them.Civis Analytics decided to test what kind of messages might work. The data firm created five different themed messages and random tested them with 4,000 respondents. They compared the results to the control group in which 73% said they were likely to get a COVID-19 vaccine.
The result? Personal stories proved to be the best motivator for COVID-19 vaccinations. When people saw a mock ad about a real person, in this case a young healthy person who contracted COVID-19 and died, they were 5% more likely than the control group to say yes to a vaccine. The worst-performing message? Community protection. When people were shown an ad that emphasized the value of herd immunity and role of vaccines in making communities healthier for everyone, they were 1% less likely to get the vaccine. However, even more concerning was that by Civis’ calculations, there was a 69% probability that the community protection message would create a negative backlash.