Engineers at Bosch Healthcare Solutions in Germany have developed a point of care Covid-19 test that is claimed to deliver a reliable result in under 2.5 hours.
It is claimed that the test, which has been developed in collaboration with Northern Ireland medical technology firm Randox Laboratories, could prove a key tool in curbing the spread of the virus. “Bosch’s rapid COVID-19 test will help contain the spread of the pandemic and break the chain of transmission more quickly,” said Bosch CEO Dr Volkmar Denner.
Designed to be used at the point of care, the test potentially eliminates the need to transport samples and could enable infected individuals to be identified and isolated immediately. It is also able to simultaneously diagnose nine other respiratory diseases including influenza A and B, thereby saving doctors the additional time needed for further tests.
The test has been developed to run on Bosch’s Vivalytic device, an automated cartridge-based platform for molecular laboratory diagnostics that is designed to test various samples with a range of analytical methods.
In various laboratory tests with SARS-CoV-2 (the name of the virus responsible for the Covid-19 disease) the Bosch test delivered results with an accuracy of over 95 per cent. The rapid test meets the quality standards of the World Health Organisation (WHO).
During testing a sample is taken from the patient’s nose or throat using a swab. Then the cartridge, which already contains all the reagents required for the test, is inserted into the Vivalytic device for analysis. The analyser can perform up to ten tests in the space of 24 hours. This means it takes just 100 devices to evaluate up to 1,000 tests per day.
According to a statement, the test cartridges that include the SARS-CoV-2 and nine other pathogens will be available in Germany starting in April, with other markets in Europe and elsewhere to follow.