Sanofi developing smartphone-linked coronavirus test

French pharma company hopes to create test that delivers results in under 30 minutes

Sanofi is partnering with  Silicon Valley start-up Luminostics to develop the Covid-19 test. File photograph: iStock

Sanofi is partnering with Silicon Valley start-up Luminostics to develop the Covid-19 test. File photograph: iStock

 

French pharmaceutical company Sanofi is teaming up with Silicon Valley start-up Luminostics to develop a coronavirus test that patients could do themselves using a device plugged into a smartphone.

As countries across the world struggle to test enough patients for Covid-19, the companies hope their novel test would be easy to deploy without the need for a healthcare professional or sending a sample to a laboratory, and deliver an answer in less than 30 minutes.

The test would use a new type of glow-in-the-dark nanoparticle developed by Luminostics that can be detected by a smartphone’s camera when used with an adapter.

Patients could take a sample from the back of their nose, insert the swab into a small device containing a chemical including the nanoparticle and clip it into the adapter. The nanoparticle would glow when it comes into contact with the virus. The signal would be captured by the camera and processed using artificial intelligence. The results would then be displayed on an app and users could connect with a doctor by video call to discuss them.

The test would not be ready until the end of 2020 at the earliest. – Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2020