Aerosol specialists – ANCON Medical – discuss innovation that could detect COVID-19 in high traffic environments such as transport hubs to enable improved management to prevent transmission and slow the spread of coronavirus.
As more people return to work this week following easing of lockdown guidelines, train stations across England are beginning to implement measures to ensure that social distancing is adhered to on public transport. Crowd control measures and one-way systems are now in place in major stations, but concerns have been raised at the increased number of passengers making social distancing next to impossible.
Major cities, such as London, have brought coronavirus transmission largely under control (some estimates last week put the number of new infections at just 24). This week, however, will be a significant hurdle as more people come into close contact on public transport.
Wesley Baker – CEO of Aerosol specialists ANCON Medical – says: “Transmission of coronavirus and other infectious diseases depends on a few things but human proximity and population density are key indicators of the speed of spread. Major transport hubs servings thousands of people a day – especially in towns and cities, are likely seeing significant particles emitted into the air which contain COVID-19, further exacerbating the rate of spread.
Our technology can effectively model the human lung and, in conjunction with testing, could show the presence of airborne coronavirus in these areas. If, in future these kinds of devices could be installed in public transport or planes for example it may be easier to track and halt the spread of infectious diseases at source.”
ANCON Medical’s Aero Select device mimics the action of the human respiratory system and can detect and categorise aerosol particles – such as those that spread COVID-19 – from the largest airborne particles (pollen) to the nanometre level. Used in conjunction with PCR testing, the device can prove the presence of COVID-19 in a room/vehicle/aircraft/ship and help research the size of the particles which carry the virus; aiding in the development of research into transmission.