KOTA TINGGI: A RM1.05-million Strategic Research Fund (SRF) has been allocated for the development of a Covid-19 Screening and Monitoring Mobile Device (i-Breath).

Science, Technology and Innovation Minister (MOSTI) Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba said the i-Breath, developed by a Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) research team, was expected to be commercialised and marketed by end of next year.

He said it was a breakthrough for Covid-19 testing in addition to the Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) or Antigen Rapid Test Kit (RTK) currently used.

“i-Breath is developed using advanced technology based on artificial intelligence (AI) and can be used anywhere. It takes as fast as 20 seconds to find out the presence of Covid-19 and the sensitivity of this device is up to 93 per cent,“ he said.

He said this at a press conference after officiating Tenggara parliamentary consituency’s Keluarga Malaysia (Malaysia Family) Science, Technology, Innovation and Economy (STIE) design space and the i-Breath Device Prototype Showcase at the Batu Ampat Tourism Services and Transit Centre here today.

Adham, who is also MP for Tenggara, said the device currently at the prototype stage and in the process of clinical testing would need another six months to be confirmed.

“After that, the prototype will be tested by the Ministry of Health (MOH) and the university in order for it to become an international standard product,“ he said, adding that the development of the device was in line with his ministry’s commitment in helping the health sector and well-being of Malaysian families.

The development of the device was led by UTM engineering faculty lecturer Associate Prof Dr Malarvili Bala Krishna and it is equipped with a screen that displays respiratory features and allows self-health monitoring via a smartphone.

Commenting on the Keluarga Malaysia STIE, Adham said the design space at Tenggara parliamentary constituency was the third to be established in the country after Paroi, Negeri Sembilan and Kuala Terengganu.

He said the design space is a digital innovation corner as well as a computer lab created to cultivate creativity and innovation, thus opening up business opportunities in the local community.

STIE targets students and youths as well as start-ups and small and medium enterprises and the design space was to provide exposure and skills training to participants on the use of new technologies such as 3D printers, robotics and virtual reality. — Bernama