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Ultra-Fast COVID-19 PCR Test to Achieve High Accuracy at Speed 20 Times Faster than Lab-Based PCR Tests

By LabMedica International staff writers
Posted on 22 Nov 2021
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Image: MolDx Analyzer (Photo courtesy of miDIAGNOSTICS)
Image: MolDx Analyzer (Photo courtesy of miDIAGNOSTICS)

An ultra-fast COVID-19 PCR test developed for point-of-care use combines the accuracy of central lab-based PCR testing with the speed of self-testing.

miDIAGNOSTICS (Leuven, Belgium) has developed a rapid COVID-19 PCR test that has the potential to achieve an excellent accuracy at a speed 20 times faster than ‘classic’ PCR machines in labs. The test, based on the company’s highly innovative diagnostics platform, involves the transfer of a nasopharyngeal swab sample on a PCR test card, from which the results are read by a compact reader.

The COVID-19 pandemic has underscored the importance of abundant and accurate diagnostics. It will still take quite some time before herd immunity will be achieved worldwide, and ongoing virus mutations and new variants pose major challenges to the vaccination process. Meanwhile, there is a great need for rapid accurate tests that can be performed at airports, in the workplace, at events, in doctors’ offices, or even at home. Unfortunately, rapid COVID-19 tests often have limited accuracy, while reliable diagnostic tests, based on PCR analysis and performed in central laboratories, can take anywhere from several hours to several days from a sample collection to a test result.

Enabled by miDIAGNOSTICS’ silicon chip technology, its ultra-fast PCR COVID-19 test combines the speed of a rapid antigen test with the performance of trusted PCR-based testing. The company’s ultra-fast COVID-19 PCR test will take 15 minutes from sample to result. Testing can be easily scaled up with the combination of multiple readers, because of the short turnaround time of 15 minutes, enabling simultaneous high throughput in many decentralized settings where highly accurate testing is desired, including at airports, offices, schools, events or any other local healthcare setting. Beyond COVID-19, the platform has the potential to be reconfigured for diagnosing other infectious diseases, as needed.

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