Brad Tousley: Raytheon to Adapt Cybersecurity Tool for COVID-19 Testing

Brad Tousley
Brad Tousley

Raytheon Technologies subsidiary has partnered with Purdue University and three other companies to develop a novel coronavirus detection kit using a tool originally designed to detect malicious threats in network traffic.

Raytheon BBN Technologies will contribute the FAST-NA cybersecurity technology to support the development of a COVID-19 paper strip test for clinicians to diagnose people with suspected infection through saliva samples, the company said Thursday.

Brad Tousley, president at Raytheon BBN Technologies, said the company is working to adapt cyber tools used to analyze  cyber data for coronavirus testing efforts.

“Instead of detecting bad code on a network, we’re looking for the virus’ unique RNA sequences for Purdue to target in the test," Tousley added.

BBN also collaborates with PortaScience, Cortex Design and LaDuca on the project. The group plans to seek Food and Drug Administration approval for emergency use of the COVID-19 diagnostic method.

FAST-NA was developed through an Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity program that sought artificial intelligence and cybersecurity tools to accelerate a DNA sequencing-based pathogen screening process.

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