World awaits results of Ancon Medical’s ground-breaking trial

Published by Richard Yarrick-Holmes on October 4th 2020, 9:02am

A diagnostics company in Canterbury may hold the key to the fight against Covid-19. Their pioneering new breath test is currently being trialled at Ashford and St Peter’s Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and, if successful, it could dramatically increase our ability to test for the virus.

ANCON Medical, who are best known for their breathalyser which can detect lung cancer in as little as six minutes, believe their Covid-19 test can give a positive or negative result in under ten. 

If the trial is successful, it is possible this could speed up the return of sports and theatre, with spectators taking the test on their way in and being admitted only if the result is negative. More generally, it would also give the government a much better chance of hitting their testing targets.

Speaking to The Daily Mail, Dr Stephen Winchester, a medical virologist at Ashford and St Peter's, said the tech would be 'ground-breaking' if it works.

'This may significantly boost rapid diagnosis and management of patients presenting with acute symptoms,’ he said.

'It has the potential to provide an improved experience for patients and aid clinical decision making.'

Dr Linda Pomeroy, chief executive of ANCON, said: 'This could be a game-changer in testing and crucially, screening.

'Our system has the potential to drastically reduce the time it takes for diagnosis and makes it easier to perform tests at the point of use.'

Aside from the benefit of significant time saving, it would also be very easy to roll the test out to testing centres because it is as easy to use as a simple breathalyser. Minimal training would be required for staff, and members of the public are likely to prefer using the test to the current option of the swab.

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Richard Yarrick-Holmes
Associate Editor
October 4th 2020, 9:02am

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