US startup Biobot Analytics analyses sewage to predict virus outbreaks


The Delaware County of New Castle is participating in a pro-bono programme run by the Cambridge, Massachusetts start-up Biobot Analytics, which analyses sewage for the coronavirus in order to estimate the number of people infected in a particular area, hoping to use the results to make better health decisions. Wastewater epidemiology has been used in the past to combat polio. Also joining the Biobot programme are wastewater treatment plants in or near Denver, Honolulu, Indianapolis, Florida’s Miami-Dade County, and Portland, Oregon, where workers collect samples in 50ml vials and send them to Biobot. To date, the system’s projected coronavirus case numbers are much higher than official tallies.

Writer: Nick Leiber
Publication: Bloomberg Businessweek

Related learning resources