UAE Develops a Rapid Coronavirus Laser Testing Technology

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QuantLase Imaging Lab, the medical-research arm of the Abu Dhabi Stock Exchange-listed International Holdings Company (IHC), announced that it has developed novel equipment which enables for much faster mass screenings, with test results available in seconds and allowing testing on a wider scale. This break-through will enable ‘Mass-scale screening’, changing the whole dimension of tracing.

AbdulRahman bin Mohammed Al Owais, Minister of Health and Prevention, expressed hope over the discovery saying: “We are always following innovations related to the early and rapid detection of Covid–19. The government is keen on supporting initiatives that help the healthcare system in the UAE. Health officials have been closely monitoring the progress of trials with QuantLase in order to test this equipment. We are proud to see a technology that works and that will help to protect our people better.”

“The equipment, which uses a CMOS detector, will enable mass-scale screening with results made available in seconds,” said Dr Pramod Kumar, who leads the team of researchers at the lab which 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. 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.

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