The German technology group Bosch is developing a test that only takes 2.5 hours to analyze and give a result of the coronavirus.
The rapid automated test is intended for hospitals, doctors, and other health care facilities, the company announced in a press release on Thursday.
Bosch estimates that the test, which meets the quality standards of the World Health Organization WHO, has a reliability of more than 95 percent. Currently, a coronavirus test in Germany takes 4 to 5 hours.
The rapid molecular diagnostic test is performed using the Vivalytic analyzer from Bosch Healthcare Solutions. “This will accelerate the identification and isolation of infected patients,” says Dr. Volkmar Denner, chairman of the company’s board of directors.
A swab is used to take a sample from the patient’s nose or throat. The cartridge, which already contains all the reagents required for the test, is then placed in the Vivalytic device for analysis. During the examination, medical staff can devote themselves to other tasks, such as treating patients.
The Vivalytic analyzer has been designed to be so easy to use that even non-trained medical personnel can reliably perform the test. A Bosch Vivalytic analyzer can perform up to ten tests in a span of 24 hours. This means that only 100 devices are required to evaluate up to 1,000 tests per day.
Due to the dynamic distribution of the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, the laboratories are already working above capacity. The Bosch Vivalytic will thus help to increase the available test capacities.
No transport of samples required
Another advantage of the rapid test is that it is possible directly at the place of care. As a result, no transport of samples is required, which takes up valuable time. This also provides patients with the rapid assurance of their health status, while infected individuals can be immediately identified and isolated. Current tests usually require patients to wait for one to two days for a result.
In addition, a single sample can be tested not only on Covid-19 but simultaneously on nine other respiratory diseases, including influenza A and B. “The special thing about the Bosch test is that it provides a differential diagnosis, saving doctors the extra time required for further testing. Besides, they receive a reliable diagnosis quickly, so that they can start with appropriate treatment more quickly,” says Marc Meier, president of Bosch Healthcare Solutions.
The newly developed test will be available in Germany from April, followed by other markets in Europe and elsewhere.