KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 17 — The government is in the midst of introducing a mobile phone application that detects Covid-19 through users’ cough sound patterns.
The Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI), through the Sandbox Innovation and National Technology (NTIS) secretariat, is assisting a local company, Serba Dinamik IT Solutions Sdn Bhd, to develop the Covid-19 initial screening product.
“Based on the concept of ‘plug-and-play’, users only need to download the application and record the sound of ‘coughing’ three times in a row,” Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Dr Adham Baba mentioned in a written Dewan Rakyat reply yesterday.
“For verification purposes, this application is also equipped with a ‘facial recognition’ system to identify the user’s identity.”
According to MOSTI, Covid-19 screening results using this application can be received within 30 seconds.
The positively identified users will then be required to undergo RT-PCR or RTK-Ag tests to confirm the presence of the coronavirus.
“Basically, this application is already under development. However, further discussions are still being held between various parties before this product can be widely used.”
Besides that, MOSTI — through the National Nanotechnology Center (NNC) and the National Institute of Biotechnology Malaysia (NIBM) — has helped a research team from Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) to identify a simpler, cheaper and faster Covid-19 screening method.
“The method is implemented through a device named i-Breath. It is a Covid-19 detector through an individual respiratory profile that has been developed by local researchers.
“The ministry has approved research funding to continue the development of this i-Breath prototype along with further clinical studies.”
It is to be noted that Singapore has also approved a Covid-19 breath test developed locally in May this year to speed up the coronavirus detection process.
Apart from developing these two devices, MOSTI has also developed a Covid-19 contact tracing system with Bluetooth and GPS technology in the MySejahtera mobile app, as well as a vaccine management system to keep records of vaccination data through blockchain technology that can generate a vaccination certificate for each vaccine recipient.
In order to ensure that the digital Covid-19 vaccination certificate is genuine, each certificate will have a QR Code and can be verified through the Vaccine Certificate Verifier application.
“A digital autopsy application was also developed by iGene Company based on virtual and augmented reality technology and is supported by artificial intelligence (AI) technology and big data analysis (BDA).
“This application is particularly relevant in crime scene documentation or investigation that requires minimal contact especially in Covid-19 pandemic situations.”
Dr Adham informed Raub MP Tengku Zulpuri Raja Puji about these recent developments, who asked whether MOSTI has established a creative mechanism based on the latest science and technology development in dealing with the Covid-19 epidemic.