Robert Bosch GmbH said it developed a test that can diagnose Covid-19 in less than 2.5 hours and might help efforts to fight the coronavirus outbreak.
“Infected patients can be identified and isolated faster,” Bosch Chief Executive Officer Volkmar Denner said Thursday in a statement.
The new test uses the Vivalytic molecular diagnostics platform made by Bosch’s healthcare division, used in hospitals, laboratories and medical practices. Patients typically must wait one or two days before they get test results.
The ability to test for Covid-19 is seen as a key variable in restricting its spread. Diagnosis has proliferated in some countries like Germany and South Korea, while lagging behind in others including Italy and parts of the U.S.
The new test will be available in Germany in April and be sold in international markets. Bosch teamed up with medical equipment maker Randox Laboratories Ltd. for the development.
These molecular diagnostic tests are the gold standard, used to determine whether someone is currently infected. The tests, which have confirmed the more than 470,000 cases known globally, look for nucleic acids of the virus in people’s samples. While highly accurate, they also require time, experienced technicians and supplies -- including swabs -- that are in short supply. As such, governments everywhere have been trying to limit the number of people who get tested with these instruments to those deemed most at-risk for complications.
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