Equipment captures the thermal image and is able to identify the coronavirus in asymptomatic people; effectiveness is 80% when compared to RT-PCR
A company has started testing a “Supertermômetro” to detect cases of Covid-19 in the community of Paraisópolis, in the south of Sao Paulo, in partnership with the G10 Favelas. The equipment, created by doctors, is a digital totem that captures a person’s thermal image, that is, the physiological changes that the virus causes on the face. Five thousand exams will be applied in the community, and around one thousand have already been done since the 10th of this month. Then the traditional RT-PCR test for comparison is done. According to Alexandre Aldred, physician and CEO of Predikta, the result comes out in a few seconds, similar to a photograph. “The idea is to have the result very close to a PCR, with a much faster method. No contact, no intrusion and you can do it every day. It’s as if we were doing a ‘digital PCR’”, explains Aldred. The equipment has already been tested in other places, such as the University Hospital of USP and the city of Ilhabela, on the coast of São Paulo.
The doctor says that Paraisópolis was chosen because of the vulnerability of the community’s residents, who have difficulties in adopting social isolation and remote work. sAccording to the CEO, the test with the “super thermometer” is 80% effective when compared to the RT-PCR. The first to participate in the examinations were the members of the G10 Favelas team and the street presidents, who monitor Covid-19 cases in the community and help with the distribution of lunchboxes, masks and medical care. The goal is to identify asymptomatic people. “We are testing the presidents. Based on the result, we test family members, people close to us and we have a map where we know where the most cases are”, explains Gilson Rodrigues, president of the G10 Favelas and of the Paraisópolis Residents Union.
Gilson says that, with the mapping, it is possible to intensify virus prevention actions in areas of the favela where there are more cases. “If the person knows they have Covid, we can quickly isolate them and create a prevention process with the distribution of masks, gel alcohol and gloves in these regions, which contributes concretely to the reduction of cases”, he says. “The test is another sign so that we can alert the population that is already exposed. In practice, Paraisópolis and other favelas across Brazil are not isolated, because it is impossible, as we already live in agglomerations. We don’t do home offices, most of them work in essential services, which have filled buses and subways every day. So, by doing the test, we were able to monitor these families”, he defends. The “superthermometer” is already in the validation process in the National Health Surveillance Agency (Anvisa) and the objective, according to the CEO of Predikta, is to expand the use of the equipment to other locations. “It’s applied science in practice in less than a year. Our idea is to try to help solve the pandemic and bring an extra layer of security”, he says.