New technology detects viruses in the air

Joplin Area Coronavirus

SOUTHWEST MISSOURI — It’s a new piece of technology in the fight against covid-19. A machine typically used to detect mold and bacteria in the air can now help tell if covid-19 could be thriving in the same air you’re breathing.

Nate Stokes, Visiting Angels, said, “Equipment like this is going to be key to make sure that everyone feels safe going in to certain buildings, schools, hospitals, offices even, I mean everywhere.”

A machine called the insta scope now joining the fight against covid-19.

“Well InstaScope and the abilities it brings, will make a difference in a lot of different ways.”

Insta scope was originally developed to detect mold in the air. A new software update gives it the ability to see bacteria.

Stacy Beasley, Springfield Quality Services, said, “Our Bio app has the ability to recognize the bacteria and viruses in the air, not only bacteria and viruses but your mold and pollen.”

It’s complex technology–on wheels.

“What I’m doing is I’m walking the insta scope through the room, and as I’m walking it through the room, the air wand is taking in the air that is in the room and as the air is passing through hthe room, it’s passing through the bioflorecents and the insta scope and it is identifying, bacteria’s, potentially viruses and mold and pollen in the room.”

The big box on the machine has lights and lasers inside. It shoots them at the molecules coming in–thanks to programming–it can tell you what is in the air.

“The way that we’re applying to it the covid-19 situation is that we are coming into an office building such as this one, hospital, nursing room and we’re looking at how clean or how dirty the air is.”

Pollen, bacteria, and now viruses all look and weigh differently and the machine knows that. Which will greatly help organizations like visiting angels.

“We want to make sure the air they’re breathing is clear and we’re not going to add on to the difficulties they’re already having, so I can see how it’s going to be very positive in nursing homes, assisted livings, even your individual homes as you’re dealing with different health aspects from age,” said Stokes.

“Companies are pretty excited about this technology they are anxious for us to get in and help them understand that their protocols are working or not working,” said Beasley.

In some cases–they’re not.

“Because we’re finding some of the protocols are not working at all, some of the guidelines that they’ve been following are not making a difference at all.”

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