Clinical trial for quick COVID-19 test coming to Edmonton International Airport

A COVID-19 test that can produce results in seconds will undergo a clinical trial at the Edmonton International Airport this fall.

In addition to the quick results, the test also eliminates the need for an unpleasant nasal swab.

A start date for the trial hasn’t been determined but the new technology could have global implications, EIA said in a news release on Thursday.

The handheld testing unit, designed by Edmonton based company GLC Medica Inc., uses saliva samples and can determine in under a minute if someone has the virus.

“This kind of test will help address the need for a 14-day quarantine period in Canada and potentially other international quarantine restrictions,” the release said.

EIA hopes it will result in people feeling safer about travelling again.

“We all want travel to get back to normal and a rapid COVID-19 test will accelerate this return while enhancing passenger confidence in the safety of our industry,” EIA president and CEO Tom Ruth said in the release.

The test works by using a graphene surface designed to bond to the spike protein in the virus, the release said. The binding changes the electronic characteristics of the graphene which can be measured to determine if a person is infected.

EIA said the next step is to establish a test site. The clinical trial is expected to begin this fall and last several weeks. 

“This trial phase will help GLC Medical secure regulatory approval and certification for its test from Health Canada and other regulatory bodies, including in the United States and other areas of the world,” the release said.

 The test does not require a medical professional and can be administered by anyone who has been trained.

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