LARGO -- For many who've undergone COVID-19 testing with a swab, the term "picking your brain" takes on a whole new meeting. The swab is inserted deeply and painfully into the nasal passage. Clinical trials are underway for a test that could change the process.
Largo-based medical device company Kaligia Biosciences is working with Tampa General, AdventHealth and USF to develop a portable device using saliva. The company says it can produce results in less than three minutes.
Kaligia began clinical trials the week of Memorial Day. Saliva is scanned using what the company calls the Rapid Biofluid Analyzer 2 (RBA-2). It uses a laser and spectroscopy to reveal underlying chemical components. It then uses machine learning (a form of artificial intelligence) based on experience with COVID samples, to identify positive and negative results. The process is more robust than most current tests, which use "wet" chemistry to test fluid samples. Kaligia says the system is based on proven technology, used to analyze multiple blood components.