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New, non-invasive COVID-19 test could help detect the virus through a breath test

Developers worked to create new technology known as BlowFISH to detect the presence of the virus through directly testing respiratory droplets.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The days of uncomfortable COVID-19 tests via a nasal swab could soon be a thing of the past.

Developers worked to create new technology known as BlowFISH to detect the presence of the virus through directly testing respiratory droplets.

This latest concept was created through a partnership with Medivolve and Marvel Diagnostics with the goal of improving care for COVID-19 patients. The initial round of clinical testing just wrapped up for this simple, inexpensive, non-invasive exhaled breath testing technology.

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It works by blowing into a whistle-like device to collect samples directly from the lungs. These are also the same droplets believed to be the means of transmission if you are infected with COVID-19.

Credit: Medivolve

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 “You’re going to see who the superspreaders are or who potentially might be spreading the virus more than others,” Medivolve CEO David Preiner said.

Preiner believes the new technology could be a viable substitute for the traditional nasal swab COVID-19 test and could be used in drive-through testing or within schools.

“It makes it very easy to gather samples on a routine basis with no fear of it’s going to hurt,” Preiner explained. 

And even as the effects of the pandemic become less prominent, Preiner said COVID-19 testing will still have to be a priority.

“Staying on top of testing even in areas that are asymptomatic I think is critical because the goal is you want to catch a flare-up the moment it pops up,” Preiner said. 

The next step following the clinical trials is for BlowFISH to apply for emergency authorization use in hopes of getting FDA approval.

Have a relative or friend in another state and want to know when they can get vaccinated? Visit NBC News' Plan Your Vaccine site to find out about each state's vaccine rollout plan. 

Contact Briana Harper at bharper@wcnc.com and follow her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.