General Electric wants to put the ability to identify COVID-19 particles at your fingertips. The company has been in the works of developing smartphone COVID-19 sensors that can identify the virus anywhere. GE has been developing this kind of technology for a few years.
GE boasts professional-grade accuracy in their small sensors
The spread of COVID-19 and the resulting deaths and chaos that arose have taken a toll on many industries. Because of this, popular tech events, like Google IO, have to be held online. General Electric believes that these smartphone COVID-19 sensors are an effective way to combat the virus. This adds an additional layer of security.
According to Engadget, the team at GE has been awarded a grant by the National Institutes of Health to build small sensors that can be placed into smartphones. There’s no word on exactly how much money was awarded. The scientists at GE compare their sensors to that of bloodhounds. They don’t only remark on the importance of identifying COVID-19, but also on not letting other elements interfere with the readings.
Principal scientist, Radislav Potyrailo said in a statement, “Our sensors are sort of like bloodhounds… We train them to detect a specific thing, and they are able to do that well without being thrown off the trail by something else.”
GE plans for its smartphone COVID-19 sensors to arrive in a few years
The science behind these sensors has been in the works for at least a decade. The team has been experimenting with this type of technology for years. It’s easy to feel confident about the technology being employed here with a decade of refinement. We don’t know if the team originally planned for the technology to be put in smartphones a decade back.
Though it’s tempting to want to get ready to pre-order one of these phones, the smartphone COVID-19 sensors are not planned to be finalized for another two years. It seems that coming out in the year 2023 would put this technology well behind the curve, but there are a few things to consider there’s no telling how long COVID-19 is here to stay. Vaccines are being distributed, and tests are more accessible, but there’s still a lot that we don’t know about this virus.
These sensors won’t only be for identifying COVID-19, but flu particles in general. There’s also no telling if the sensors will be used to detect other viruses. This could very well be useful to prevent future pandemics.