daily coverage of the optics & photonics industry and the markets that it serves

Covid-19 update: 08 April 2021

08 Apr 2021

A round up of this week's coronavirus-related news and countermeasures from the photonics industry.

  • Ethos Laboratories’ high-throughput SARS-CoV-2 variant assay to monitor emerging mutations
  • Matrix-Assisted Laser Desorption/Ionization-Time Of Flight mass spectrometry method allows for the analysis of up to 15,000 samples per day with results in 6 hours

Ethos Laboratories, a provider of laboratory testing systems based in Newport, KY, has announced the validation of a high-throughput molecular test for the detection of key SARS-CoV-2 virus strains, including the UK (B.1.1.7), South Africa (B.1.351), Brazil (P.1) variants.

These variants have been estimated to account for 40 percent of new infections in certain areas of the United States, making their accurate detection critical for ongoing public health strategies. Ethos is one of the first clinical laboratories to validate a high-throughput testing solution for the detection of emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants.

Current genomic surveillance of SARS-CoV-2 variants is conducted using gene-sequencing technologies which are not amendable to high-throughput testing; the US Centers For Disease Control And Prevention (CDC) indicates that the time required to sequence a sample and submit findings into public databases is approximately 10 days.

While such sequencing technologies will be critical for identifying new SARS-CoV-2 variants as they emerge worldwide, Ethos believes that there is a significant need for high-throughput technologies capable of accurately detecting known or existing variants.

Ethos Laboratories Matrix-Assisted Laser Desorption/Ionization-Time Of Flight (MALDI-TOF) mass spectrometry method allows for the analysis of up to 15,000 samples per day with results available in as little as six hours. “We hope to provide insight into variant frequency on a large scale to support ongoing national surveillance efforts led by the CDC and its SPHERES consortium,” commented Joshua Gunn, Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer for Ethos Research & Development.

Brain monitoring of patients with severe Covid-19

Medical technology company Masimo, Irvine, CA, which develops a range of monitoring technologies, has announced the results of a prospective, observational study published in the journal Critical Care in which researchers in Genoa, Italy, evaluated the impact of a variety of rescue therapies on the systemic and cerebral oxygenation of mechanically ventilated Covid-19 patients suffering from acute respiratory distress syndrome.

To gauge the impact, the researchers used the Masimo Root Patient Monitoring and Connectivity Platform with O3 Regional Oximetry, which uses near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) to enable monitoring of tissue oxygen saturation (rSO2) in the region of interest, such as the brain.

Dr. Chiara Robba and colleagues noted that “neurological complications are common in mechanically ventilated critically ill patients with Covid-19 and may lead to impaired cerebral hemodynamics,” and further, that respiratory rescue therapies “may have detrimental effects on brain physiology.”

Observing, however, that there is currently little data available regarding the effect of rescue therapies on these patients’ brains, and in particular on cerebral oxygenation, the researchers sought to assess the impact of different ventilatory rescue therapies on the brain to help guide clinicians in choosing the most appropriate therapies for their Covid-19 patients.

The researchers concluded, “Rescue therapies exert specific pathophysiological mechanisms, resulting in different effects on systemic and cerebral oxygenation in critically ill Covid-19 patients with ARDS. The choice of rescue strategy to be adopted should take into account both lung and brain needs. To our knowledge, this is the first study investigating the early effects of rescue therapies on systemic and cerebral oxygenation and their correlation in critically ill patients with Covid-19-associated ARDS.

Dr. Robba and study co-author Dr. Basil Matta, Senior Medical Director at Masimo, commented, “The ability to observe relative changes in oxygenated, deoxygenated, and total hemoglobin with O3’s delta indices provided us with better insight into why brain saturations change as a result of interventions, and allowed us to better understand the interactions between systemic and cerebral hemodynamics.”

IT ‘moves beyond pandemic’ – Viavi Solutions

Viavi Solutions, a developer of optical network test, monitoring and assurance solutions, has released the results of its 14th annual State of the Network global study of enterprise networking and security challenges. As the Covid-19 pandemic forces a global reset of how we gather and work, the survey provides key insights into how organizations are adapting.

Sixty percent of respondents are looking forward to increased spending in 2021 to deploy new technologies, including SD-WAN (62 percent), private 5G (52 percent) and AI operations (45 percent) – while supporting a surge in use of unified communications, spending more time in security threat detection and remediation, and reckoning with a skills gap.

Despite the disruptive challenges of 2020, the survey reveals that IT teams have adapted to managing end-user experience in today’s work-from-home paradigm. Respondents report spending at least 10 hours per week addressing issues related to UC and collaboration tools such as WebEx, Microsoft Teams and Zoom. The importance of network and application access has never been more critical, says Viavi.

The challenge of troubleshooting UC and other applications also is compounded by a growing skills gap. Respondents’ top application troubleshooting challenge was the lack of requisite talent to solve performance issues. This gap was most acute among organizations with less than $2 billion in revenue, with more than 90 percent of mid-size companies citing difficulty in attracting candidates to help them keep up with what Viavi calls “the breakneck speed of technological innovation”.

Universe Kogaku America Inc.Mad City Labs, Inc.CeNing Optics Co LtdHyperion OpticsHÜBNER PhotonicsLaCroix Precision OpticsECOPTIK
© 2024 SPIE Europe
Top of Page