Brazilian hospital Albert Einstein, in São Paulo, has just devised a new test to detect COVID-19, according to Brazil Journal. The test should help to reinforce the country’s testing rate, which has been too low.
According to Brazil Journal, the innovation was only possible because of an old investment made by the hospital: Varstation, a genetic sequencing startup founded in 2015 and incubated since then at Eretz.bio, the hospital’s startup incubator.
Varstation developed an artificial intelligence system capable of analyzing patients’ genetic sequencing, diagnosing diseases or genetic mutations, and then defining the best treatment for each person (based on their DNA) – a technique known as NGS (New Generation Sequencing).
The method was adapted to also detect the coronavirus RNA with a sensitivity rate of 90%. Also, the Varstation platform allows 1,536 samples to be analyzed at once in each process, 16 times more than through the PCR test, used to detect the presence of the antigen. The new test costs less than the PCR, according to the media outlet.