Is it possible to measure COVID-19 infection in exhaled breath?

May 8, 2020

This is the question that the Netherlands Research Institute for Public Health (RIVM) asked us amid the Covid-19 outbreak. To provide a clear answer, we have started a multi-centre prospective clinical study in patients and healthcare personnel with a suspected Covid-19 infection. In this study, we will investigate whether exhaled breath analysis by eNose technology is able to capture a specific Covid-19 breath profile that can be distinguished from other types of infectious respiratory diseases, such as the flu. 

We are very happy about the enthusiasm with which this initiative was received by our clinical partners at Leiden University Medical Center (LUMC), Antoni van Leeuwenhoek hospital, Franciscus Gasthuis & Vlietland hospital and the diagnostic center Star-shl. Over the past few weeks, we have been preparing for the study together with our study partners to start performing exhaled breath measurements in this vulnerable population using our cloud-connected eNose; SpiroNose. Using eNose technology, these study sites will perform exhaled breath measurements in individuals with a suspected diagnosis of a Covid-19 infection. This will help us gather the much-needed information in order to create a diagnostic model for the infection caused by SARS-CoV-2. Dozens of patients are already included in the study and we soon hope to perform the first analysis.

We hope that, together with our clinical and technological partners, we can develop an accurate diagnostic model for a Covid-19 infection. If successful, the diagnostic model can be deployed in conjunction with our pre-existing devices and our online analysis platform (BreathBase) to diagnose Covid-19 within seconds after the test.

We would like to thank our partner CbusineZ (innovation arm linked to health insurer CZ) for their immediate support and contribution to this initiative.

When we all work together, we can fight this.

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