If we’re experiencing scarcity for surgical masks, wait until the mask which can detect virus comes out in the market.
For the past six years, sensors that can detect viruses are being developed by the bioengineers at MIT and Hardvard. These viruses include ebola, and now, coronavirus.
The team has been trying to embed sensors inside the face masks. These sensors will light up when an infected person breathes, coughs, even sneezes with the mask on. Dope, right?
MIT researcher Jim Collins has been thinking of pandemics, even before the emergence of coronavirus.
His bioengineering laboratory at MIT has begun developing sensors to detect Ebola in 2014. The team from MIT and Harvard published their first research in 2016.
With the new coronavirus, they are also adjusting their tools to identify the aforementioned. Should this succeed, it could address flaws from other screening methods.
“As we open up our transit system, you could envision it being used in airports as we go through security, as we wait to get on a plane,”– Jim Collins told Business Insider
“You or I could use it on the way to and from work. Hospitals could use it for patients as they come in or wait in the waiting room as a pre-screen of who’s infected,”
These masks could help doctors diagnose whether or not the patient they’re attending to is positive, or otherwise, even without sending samples to a laboratory. Saves so much time.
However, this virus-identifying technology has already been proven in 2018. The lab’s sensors could already detect SARS, measles, influenza, hepatitis C, West Nile, and other viruses.
“We initially did this on paper to create inexpensive paper-based diagnostics,” Collins said. “We’ve shown it can work on plastic, quartz, as well as cloth.”
Let’s just hope these masks will turn out to be doing its job, perfectly. That way, we could at the very least see from our eyes, through a light, our enemies.