ITRI presents easy assembly, high efficiency COVID-19 testing booth

Photo courtesy of ITRI website

TAIPEI (CNA) — Taiwan’s top industrial technology research institution unveiled Wednesday a quick-to-assemble positive-pressure COVID-19 testing booth, which it said will offer higher efficiency in sample-collection and a contamination-free environment for health workers conducting the screening.

In a televised press event, the Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI) made public the testing booth.

The design allows health workers to wear only surgical face masks and regular lab gowns while taking samples rather than having to wear special protective gear as they were previously required to do, said ITRI Executive Vice President Alex Peng (彭裕民).

Each booth is fitted with an air-conditioner, creating a comfortable and dry environment for health workers, he said, adding that its energy-saving technology reduces the daily electricity costs of each booth to less than NT$60 (US$1.98) and the booth itself can be assembled in just two days.

Most importantly, each booth is equipped with two pairs of gloves protruding outward on two sides, ready for health workers to wear when they take samples from suspected patients or other individuals wishing to be tested.

The design enables sample-taking for at least 12 individuals each hour per booth, meaning that each booth can sample up to 240 people per day if necessary, according to Peng.

The number is three times more than the average 70 samples per day from booths currently in use in South Korea, he noted.

The locally designed booth was developed in conjunction with National Taiwan University Hospital Hsinchu Biomedical Park Branch, Mackay Memorial Hospital Hsinchu Branch, and are currently undergoing field tests in both hospitals, according to ITRI.