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Researchers at Szeged Use AI to Screen for Coronavirus

Róbert Panyi 2020.07.19.

A new technology developed by the Szeged Biological Research Center (SBRC) is using artificial intelligence (AI) to test for coronavirus in blood samples. The new method involves automatic microscope and AI technology; so far, it has been able to identify infections with almost 100% accuracy.

In collaboration with the University of Szeged, the University of Helsinki and Single-Cell Technologies Kft., the SBRC developed a new serological (blood) test to screen for the coronavirus.

The test identifies both currently infected and already recovered patients and calculates the degree of the patients’ immunity with exceptional accuracy. Thousands of tests already completed have been almost 100% accurate. The test has not yet produced any false positive results. The new technology enables the completion of five to ten thousand tests per day.

Coronavirus: Szeged Research Team Identifies New COVID-19 Receptor

The technology behind the test relies on the identification of the immunoglobulins produced by the patients’ own body. These proteins build up quickly after the contraction of the disease and they stay in the blood of those recovered for months. The test involves the addition of the blood sample to cells which are then studied by the AI which uses deep learning technology to train itself to detect the immunoglobulins more precisely.

The completion of the test requires six to eight hours. Furthermore, it is relatively cost effective and it is also capable of identifying the infection in cases of low levels of immune response.

Featured photo illustration by György Varga/MTI.