Scientists develop wearable clip that can detect COVID in the air

COVID-19 is out there, and if a new device comes to market, a little wearable pin could someday alert you if you could have been exposed. 

Krystal Pollitt, an assistant professor of epidemiology and chemical engineering, and her colleagues at Yale School of Engineering in Connecticut came up with the gadget, which turns colors when exposure is detected — similar to wearable radiation badges.

Their findings were published in ACS’ Environmental Science and Technology Letters; the researchers’ so-called Fresh Air Clip uses a special coating that continually absorbs virus-laden aerosols in the air.

The devices were given to more than 60 test subjects who wore them while they went about their lives, and the little key-shaped devices were then collected and analyzed. 

Of those that came back positive, four were worn by restaurant servers, the study notes, and one by a homeless-shelter worker.

COVID-19 can already be detected in the air by large, complicated equipment, but the scientists hope that their Fresh Air Clip can someday make for an affordable, wearable option to keep COVID spread at bay.