Laser testing technology

UAE develops rapid laser testing technology for coronavirus

QuantLase Imaging Lab, the Abu Dhabi Stock Exchange-listed medical research arm of the International Holdings Company, IHC, announced that it has developed novel equipment that allows for much faster mass screening, with test results available in seconds and allowing testing on a wider scale.

The technology will improve the role of the UAE as a center of research and innovation, as scientists around the world are striving to formulate a faster testing method for patients suspected of being infected with coronavirus and potentially detecting carriers before they become contagious. This breakthrough will allow for ‘screening on a mass scale’ screening’, changing the whole dimension of tracing and the speed with which workforces can be approached.

Abdul Rahman bin Mohammad bin Nasser Al Owais, Minister of Health and Prevention, expressed optimism over the discovery saying: “We are also pursuing developments relating to the early and rapid identification of COVID–19. Government is keen to support initiatives that improve the UAE healthcare system

The equipment, using a CMOS detector, would allow mass screening with results made available in seconds, “said Dr. Pramod Kumar, who leads the research team at the laboratory that has been studying the change in cell structure of the virus-infected blood.

“In fact, our laser-based DPI (Diffractive Phase Interferometry) technique, based on optical-phase modulation, is able to give a signature of infection within a few seconds. What’s more, it is user-friendly, non-invasive and low-cost. The device is suitable for use not only in hospitals and public places like cinemas and shopping malls, but with a ‘little hands-on training’ it can be used for in-house testing and monitoring. We believe it will be a game-changer in tackling the spread of the coronavirus.” Explaining the critical role of artificial intelligence, AI, in the diagnostic system, Dr Kumar said that an advanced AI image-analysis model predicts the outcome of each image with precision, speed and scale.

This is especially critical in large-scale testing programs, where a massive number of images needs to be analysed with accuracy and efficiency. The lab is using G42, a leading AI and Cloud Computing company, to further enhance the laser program.