Robert Bosch GmbH was the youngest company to introduce a Covid 19 test. He said he could diagnose in less than 2.5 hours and help fight the outbreak.
The new test uses the Vivalytic Molecular Diagnostics platform from the Bosch health department. The device is already being used in hospitals, laboratories and medical practices to identify a range of bacterial and viral diseases such as influenza and pneumonia. It will be available in Germany in April and sold in international markets, Bosch said.
"Infected patients can be identified and isolated more quickly," said Bosch CEO Volkmar Denner in a statement on Thursday. In order to develop the test, Bosch has partnered with the Northern Irish medical device manufacturer Randox Laboratories Ltd., its partner for Vivalytic.
The ability to detect Covid-19 is key to curbing its spread. In countries like Germany and South Korea, testing was robust from the start and may have kept death rates low, while a lack of testing in parts of Italy and the United States fueled the explosive growth of the disease.
While people in many places still have to wait a few days for results, more and more companies are offering faster tests. For example, the high-speed test by Roche Holding AG with high volume can deliver more than 4,000 results per day. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has issued more than a dozen emergency approvals for Covid-19 tests from companies such as Quest Diagnostics Inc. and Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc.
All of these offers are so-called molecular diagnostic tests that have confirmed the more than 470,000 known cases worldwide. They are the gold standard for diagnosing infections by looking for nucleic acids from the virus in human samples.
While they are very accurate, they also require time, experienced technicians and materials – including swabs – that are in short supply. Governments have tried to limit the people who are tested to those who are at greatest risk of complications.
Bosch said that its rapid test can be done entirely at the place of care. It was developed in six weeks and, according to the manufacturer, can diagnose 10 respiratory pathogens simultaneously with an accuracy of more than 95%.
At the same time, scientists are evaluating the reliability of blood-based tests that could affect countries' ability to diagnose people in turbochargers. These kits, which search for antibodies to the virus behind the pandemic, are less reliable than the molecular tests, but cheaper and easier to manufacture and distribute.