ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – An Albuquerque company is developing technology that could revolutionize COVID-19 testing. Instead of waiting days or hours for your results, you could know within seconds. The testing would be done without a swab in your mouth or up your nose.
Dr. Charles Harb is the CEO of RingIR, an Albuquerque-based company with a workforce made up entirely of New Mexicans. “So we’ve gotten a lot of help from New Mexico State, UNM, New Mexico Tech,” Harb said.
RingIR started testing the breath test technology late last year. Harb says the process not only cuts down on waste, but it also yields results within a few seconds opening up a whole range of applications for catching cases before they have a chance to spread.
“Large venues, you go to airports, you’ve got national labs, you’ve got football games, lots of places where even after the majority of Americans have been vaccinated, they’re still going to need to do screening,” Harb said.
The rapid development of the technology has been made possible by Rad-X, a program through the National Institutes of Health designed to accelerate pandemic-related technology. While the focus is on COVID, for now, Harb says the device could end up having a wide range of uses in the medical field. “But there’s a whole range of respiratory diseases, respiratory signatures, diabetes is one of the obvious ones,” Harb said.
Harb says the goal is to have the breath test machines available for general use by the end of the year.