A PCR tester that only has the size of a shoebox
By: Frank Hu
Nowadays, COVID virus is everywhere, but how do athletes prevent and test for COVID? Australian athletes have a special weapon: a virus tester as big as a shoebox called the “Bio fire machine”. Although it is really small, it’s complete. It can do a PCR test for 45 kinds of diseases that can spread, including COVID, the flu, the common cold, and gastro.
The machine can show all the results in 45 minutes. This means that infected athletes can be tested and cleared out within an hour, before they are able to infect more people. If an athlete tests positive, they will be treated with medicine. Meanwhile, other people will keep training as long as they don’t testing positive.
The machine costs $35,000, and each testing pouch, which can assess up to eight people at once, costs $150. “I’ve heard figures thrown around that a gold medal often takes about a million dollars of investment over four to eight years, so I think it was worth every cent,” said Dr Hughes.
This machine is very useful for athletes because it can do many PCR tests very quickly. However, it’s pretty expensive, and normal civilians might not be able to afford the testing pouch and the machine to do PCR tests. So in the near future, we will rely on PCR test machines that make us wait longer.