Oceanit’s CEO, Dr. Patrick Sullivan joined Hawaii Public Radio’s Bytemarks Cafe, episode 706 last week to discuss the progress made on the ASSURE-100 Rapid COVID-19 Tests. Dr. Sullivan spoke to host Burt Lum, providing the latest updates on ASSURE-100 and discussing the new COVID-19 variant, known as BA.2. The new strain is a highly contagious offshoot of the omicron variant that appears to spread rapidly — about 30% more easily. BA.2 quickly overtook the original omicron in South Africa and other countries and has even caused a second omicron surge in Denmark, researchers have been bracing for the same thing to happen in the U.S.
Even with the effectiveness and availability of COVID-19 vaccines, testing will remain vital to controlling the global pandemic and ongoing transmissibility of new variants. The current gold-standard for COVID testing is a Polymerase Chain Reaction test, or PCR. However, PCR tests can be expensive, require a lab to process, and can often take 24 hours or longer to return results. Simple, fast, accurate, and affordable rapid tests, like ASSURE-100, will enable wider testing with more regularity. Rapid tests, while less sensitive, can catch just as many infectious people and we don’t have to be stingy with who gets tested. More frequent rapid testing across larger populations can help start our movement towards restoring normalcy.
Also on this episode, Burt Lum welcomed Ikaika Hussey who joined to speak about direct air capture technology that can convert atmospheric CO2 into jet fuel and his startup, Feather Fuels.
Click here to listen to episode 706 of Bytemarks Cafe featuring Dr. Patrick Sullivan. You can always catch up on past Bytemarks Cafe episodes on the HPR website, Google Podcasts, iTunes and Stitcher!