Onsite, lab-free testing of COVID-19 being done in London hospitals
A new, lab-free COVID-19 test is now being distributed to selected hospitals across London. The new test is called COVID Nudge and claims to offer “gold-standard accuracy” and a processing time from sample collection to results in about an hour. [Available at: https://imperialbrc.nihr.ac.uk/2020/06/01/lab-free-covid-19-test-trialled-in-london-hospitals/ Accessed on 13 August 2020]
The availability of this test comes after its approval by the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) in April this year. MHRA is the body which regulates medicines, medical devices and blood components for transfusions in the UK.
As an added benefit, the novel test requires neither pre-processing nor manual steps as the sample is inserted directly into a cartridge, where it is processed immediately. It also incorporates a unique control feature that indicates swab efficacy, and lets the user know if a repeat test is necessary.
The test was developed by Professor Chris Toumazou, of the National Institute for Health Research Imperial Biomedical Research Centre Genetics and Genomics Theme, Regius Professor of Engineering and chief executive officer of DnaNudge, noted that the traits that make the test groundbreaking are its high level of accuracy and the length of time taken to process a sample, in addition to requiring no manual steps. Toumazou added that COVID Nudge is the only point-of-care test that doesn’t require a laboratory or human interaction. The reliability and speed of sample processing is what makes the new test useful for patients and staff.
The COVID Nudge test is adapted from an existing product introduced last year, the DnaNudge’s DNA test catered for consumers. The results enable users to personalize their health according to their genetic makeup.