Novel Coronavirus infection rates decreased over the last few weeks, and several countries are planning to ease stay at home restrictions that will allow some businesses to open. The global economy is in a free fall as both small and large companies struggle to survive. There is no specific treatment for coronavirus, and a vaccine is still months away. Virus testing for Coronavirus is key, but it’s difficult to administer to millions of people. Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) is a technique used to amplify small segments of DNA; in layman’s terms, once you have your throat swabbed during a Coronavirus test, the swab is ready for polymerase chain reaction testing. This test is not cheap, and PCR testing is not 100% accurate. A positive test result is a 100% accurate but 30% of the time you can receive a false negative result meaning that people with an active COVID-19 infection still test negative for the disease.
The PCR test must be conducted by medical experts with specialized equipment. There will be a simple and less expensive test in the future and Electronics could play into this new test. I am not an expert in the medical field, but I am in microelectronics. Is it possible to develop an electronic sensor that can detect the coronavirus? Let’s expand on that.
An electronic diagnosis for the disease………
Forehead thermometers with digital readings make it easy to measure body temperatures. Oxygen sensors measure oxygen concentration in blood. Both these devices are available in drug stores and Amazon at a reasonable price. Can we develop a hybrid device that can measure a person’s body temperature and oxygen level in their blood? The device could be small enough to attach to your body and install a Bluetooth module. The device can send data to a control unit periodically and send a notification when parameters are exceeded. Let’s put a dollar figure on this…
Hardware components for this device are very practical, and the cost could be inexpensive depending on volume production. The software can mimic the packages used in digital thermometers and oxygen sensors, and there is a lot of clinical data available for the analysis. Current AI technologies can analyze the data.
This is a practical idea but it requires a lot of time and money to reach the approval stage. Until then, we will have to visit hospital or urgent care facilities for Covid-19 testing. If there is any medical device that is created for Covid-19 testing, it could open new doors for digital disease detection.
Dominique K. Numakura, email@example.com
DKN Research, www.dknresearch.com
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Headlines of the week
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- TPCA (Printed circuit association in Taiwan) 4/15
March shipment has rebounded 45% from February to 51 billion NT$ in March. Flex circuits rebounded 162%. ZD Technology rebounded 222%.
- Taiwan Flex (Flex circuit manufacturer in Taiwan) 4/18
Has developed transparent flex circuits with transparent conductors. Transparent conductive inks were screen printed on transparent polyimide film.
- Fujitsu (Major electronics company in Japan) 4/21
Has developed a new thermo conductive sheet of carbon nanotube with conductivity of 100W/mK. It will be valuable as the heat sink of the battery modules of EVs.
- KEL (Major connector manufacturer in Japan) 4/22
Has developed a series of wire harness capable for high speed telecommunication up to 320 Gb/second with 0.55 mm pitch cables.
- Oki Cable (Second tier flex circuit manufacture in Japan) 4/24
Has developed a new expandable flexible circuits built on urethane sheet. Copper foil conductors provide high conductivity.
- Fuji Chimera Research (Market research firm in Japan) 4/27
Has published a new report about ECU and relating devices used in automobiles. The report estimate market over 17 trillion yens in 2030.
- Mitsui Metal Smelting (Major copper foil supplier in Japan) 4/27
Has started volume supply of ultra thin copper foil (1.5 ~ 6 micron thick) with carrier foil “MT-GN” for sub-6GHz band printed circuits.
- Nippon Chemi-Con (Major device supplier in Japan) 4/26
Has developed a new hybrid aluminum electrolytic capacitor with SMT package and can-lead package based on conductive polymer.
- Ibiden (Major circuit board manufacturer in Japan) 4/30
Has invested 130 billion yens in Ogaki Plant in Gifu Prefecture to enlarge the manufacturing capacity of semiconductor substrates.
- Tokyo & Tohoku University (Japan) 5/1
Has succeeded to enlarge the Nernst effect of iron 20 times adding aluminum and gallium. The thermoelectric effect will generate electric power for IoT devices.
- Sumitomo Chemical (Major chemical company in Japan) 4/30
Has co-developed a new high purity aluminum foil as the stable electrode of lithium ion batteries with Tohoku University. It does not swell during charge and discharge.
- ALPSALPINE (Major device manufacturer in Japan) 4/30
Has unveiled the idea of touchless switching panel. It will eliminate the risks of the infections. Actual device will be commercialized in 2021.
- JEITA (Electronic industry organization in Japan) 5/1
Has released the roadmap of the connectors as a part electronic packaging in 2019. Automobiles will be the major in the industry.
- Molex Japan (Major connector supplier in Japan) 5/1
Has rolled out new Board to Board connector series Slim Stack series with 0.35 mm pitch and 0.8 mm height for compact mobile devices.
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