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Bosch develops rapid test for COVID-19

Bosch Healthcare Solutions, together with Randox Laboratories Ltd., has developed one of the world’s first fully automated molecular diagnostic tests for COVID-19.

The coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 is posing major challenges for healthcare systems and medical institutions worldwide. An ability to rapidly diagnose the virus is of invaluable help in curbing its exponential spread in many countries. Bosch’s new, fully automated rapid test for COVID-19 can help medical facilities such as doctors’ offices, hospitals, laboratories, and health centers make fast diagnoses.

The rapid molecular diagnostic test runs on the Vivalytic analysis device from Bosch Healthcare Solutions.

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Developed in just six weeks, the rapid test can detect a SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus infection in patients in under two and a half hours, measured from the time the sample is taken to the time the result arrives. Another advantage of the rapid test is that it can be performed directly at the point of care. This eliminates the need to transport samples, which takes up valuable time. It also means patients quickly gain certainty about their state of health, while allowing infected individuals to be identified and isolated immediately. With the tests currently in use, patients must usually wait one to two days for a result.

Bosch’s rapid test is one of the world’s first fully automated molecular diagnostic tests that can be used directly by all medical institutions. What’s more, it allows a single sample to be tested not just for COVID-19 but also for nine other respiratory diseases, including influenza A and B, simultaneously.

The special feature of the Bosch test is that it offers differential diagnosis, which saves doctors the additional time needed for further tests. It also provides them with a reliable diagnosis quickly so they can then begin suitable treatment faster.

—Marc Meier, president of Bosch Healthcare Solutions GmbH

The newly developed test will be available in Germany starting in April, with other markets in Europe and elsewhere to follow.

Bosch’s rapid COVID-19 test is the result of collaboration between the company’s Bosch Healthcare Solutions subsidiary and the medical technology company Randox Laboratories Ltd.

In various laboratory tests with SARS-CoV-2, the Bosch test delivered results with an accuracy of more than 95%. The rapid test meets the quality standards of the World Health Organization (WHO). A sample is taken from the patient’s nose or throat using a swab. Then the cartridge, which already contains all the reagents required for the test, is inserted into the Vivalytic device for analysis. During the analysis, medical staff can devote themselves to other tasks, for example treating patients.

The Vivalytic analyzer is designed to be so user-friendly that even medical personnel who have not been specially trained on it can reliably perform the test. A Bosch Vivalytic analyzer can perform up to ten tests in the space of 24 hours. This means it takes just 100 devices to evaluate up to 1,000 tests per day. Given the dynamic spread of the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, laboratories are already working beyond capacity. The Bosch Vivalytic will thus help to increase available testing capacities.

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