Following a new development for testing of COVID-19, this will enable screening for the disease directly at a number oftesting centers. And, this will enable patients to receive test results in about one hour from the time they receive a nasal swab. The development of a micro-PCR diagnostic system for COVID-19, which is portable,called Epidax,developed by a team of researchers at National University of Singapore has enabled this.
The system enables rapid and precise on-site screening of infectious diseases and significantly lessens time required to analyze samples of patients.
On the other hand, polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test currently used for COVID-19 diagnosis requires diagnosis to be carried out in specialized testing facilities. The procedure requires few hours or sometimes even few days for results to be known.
The outcome is a concerted effort of a 10-member team at National University of Singapore who developed the system in a record time of two months.
System to enable Rapid Testing until Vaccine is developed
Meanwhile, the COVID-19 pandemic has posed unparalleled health, economic, and social challenges for populations worldwide. To combat this until a vaccine is available, ramping up testing is the first step to contain the spread of the disease and to give suitable medical care for individuals who are tested positive.
Nonetheless, the time taken for these tests is long and involves high cost in terms of manpower and equipment. If coronavirus virus is detected quickly, it can be better contained. The new system serves to be an effective solution to address the limitations of current methods of testing.
Physically, the size of Epidax is that of a toaster and is easily portable. It is a microfluidics-based polymerase chain reaction diagnostic system, and can be quickly and easily deployed on-site for screening of virus infection.