An Israeli hospital’s innovation center has announced a 95 percent success rate in clinical trials for a new saliva-based coronavirus test that provides nearly instant results.

“After testing hundreds of patients under laboratory conditions, we were clearly able to differentiate between COVID-19 samples that were positive and those that were negative, with a 95 percent accuracy rate,” Professor Eli Schwartz of the Center for Geographic Medicine and Tropical Diseases at the Sheba Medical Center at Tel Hashomer said last Thursday.

Schwartz, who is leading the trial, added, “for a new A.I.-based technology such as this, the results are quite encouraging.”

The technology, developed by Newsight Imaging, has succeeded in duplicating the function of a large, expensive device in a single cost-effective chip, using an algorithm to separate the profile of a human infected with a specific virus from that of a human infected with a different virus or from that of a healthy human.

According to a Reuters report, the company is in the process of getting regulatory approval for the device, which it expects will eventually cost less than $200. Each test costs less than 25 cents. If and when approved, the system could be mass-produced by the end of the year.

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