Malaysian researchers have developed SickVerify, a new medical device that can determine if someone is actually sick when they claim sick leave.
The device, which looks similar to a USB drive, tests the individual’s saliva for the presence of antibodies and cortisol.
Antibodies are the result of the body’s response to illness and infections, while cortisol is a hormone that is released when the body experiences stress or pain.
Using a complex set of algorithms, the device measures the concentration of antibodies and cortisol in the saliva sample to determine if the individual was ill during the period claimed for sick leave.
The device is reported to be 98.9% accurate.
To use the device, the individual wets a piece of cotton wool with their saliva and inserts it into the compartment of SickVerify.
The device is then inserted into the USB socket of a computer and a programme is run which would then display the results in three minutes.
Malaysia is planning to introduce this device in phases starting from August this year, and it will eventually substitute the role of doctors as providers of medical certificates.
By August 2012, doctors in Malaysia will lose the legal authority to issue medical certificates, and workers would have to use SickVerify for sick leave verification device, according to news.malaysia.msn.com.