Automated Covid-19 test delivers result in 2.5 hours

Automated Covid-19 test delivers result in 2.5 hours

Technology News |
By Nick Flaherty

At the start of the Covid-19 outbreak in Europe, Bosch teamed up with a UK medical technology company on a fully automated medical test system for the virus. Six weeks later, it has launched the system.

The test system test is the result of collaboration between Bosch Healthcare Solutions subsidiary and Randox Laboratories in Northern Ireland. “Together with our partner Randox, we have succeeded in developing this innovative rapid test within a very short time frame, and we are now in a position to offer it to the market,” said Marc Meier, president of Bosch Healthcare Solutions. “The Bosch Vivalytic analysis device evaluates the test safely and reliably directly in the hospital, in the lab, or in the doctor’s office, guaranteeing the best possible protection for patients and medical staff,.”

The ability to rapidly diagnose patients and staff infected with the Covid-19 virus is of invaluable help in curbing its exponential spread in many countries.  The rapid molecular diagnostic test developed by Randox runs on the Vivalytic analysis device from Bosch Healthcare Solutions. “We want the Bosch rapid COVID-19 test to play a part in containing the coronavirus pandemic as quickly as possible. It will speed up the identification and isolation of infected patients,” said Dr. Volkmar Denner, chairman of the board of management of Robert Bosch.

Another advantage of the rapid test is that it can be performed directly at the point of care. This eliminates the need to transport samples, which takes up valuable time. It also means patients quickly gain certainty about their state of health, while allowing infected individuals to be identified and isolated immediately. With the tests currently in use, patients must usually wait one to two days for a result.

The system is one of the world’s first fully automated molecular diagnostic tests that can be used directly by all medical institutions. It can also be used for nine other respiratory diseases, including influenza A and B, simultaneously, to avoid false diagnoses.

Next: Differential Covid-19 diagnoses

“The special feature of the Bosch test is that it offers differential diagnosis, which saves doctors the additional time needed for further tests. It also provides them with a reliable diagnosis quickly so they can then begin suitable treatment faster,” said Meier. The newly developed test will be available in Germany starting in April, with other markets in Europe and elsewhere to follow. The company is currently examining how it can help doctors and nursing staff in medical facilities such as the Robert Bosch Hospital get tested promptly.

In various laboratory tests, the system delivered results with an accuracy of over 95 percent. The rapid test meets the quality standards of the World Health Organization (WHO) and the system can perform up to ten tests in 24 hours. This means it takes just 100 devices to evaluate up to 1,000 tests per day

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. During the analysis, medical staff can devote themselves to other tasks, for example treating patients. The Vivalytic analyzer is designed to be user-friendly so medical personnel who have not been specially trained on it can reliably perform the test. Given the dynamic spread of the Covid-19 virus, laboratories are already working beyond capacity and the system will help to increase available testing capacities.

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