Start-up launches India’s first COVID-19 home test kit

coviself

Mylab Discovery Solutions develops India’s first self-use rapid test for Covid19.

 

In what can be a paradigm shift in the way Indians test themselves for Covid-19, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has approved a self-use rapid antigen test (RAT) kit developed by Pune-based Mylab Discovery Solutions.
CoviSelf would be the country’s first self-use kit for testing at home that will give results in 15 minutes and would cost Rs 250.
The company aims to make 40-60 million kits per month and cover 95 per cent of India’s pincodes (through pharmacies) within the next few weeks.

The kit uses a nasal swab and a QR code to connect to a mobile app which reveals results in 15 minutes, and sends the details to the Indian Council for Medical Research, the scientific agency leading the government’s response.
“It has been designed so people can do it at home. So the contents of the kit are simple, the way to dispose of it is simple, the way to perform it is simple,” said Shrikant Pawar, Head of Serology & Microbiome at Mylab.

Explaining how the kit works, Gautam Wankhede, clinical director of Mylab, said the strip (it looks like a typical home pregnancy test) is coated with a combination of antibodies specific to the Sars-CoV-2 antigen. “Presence of the antigen (a type of protein) will react with the antibodies on the strip and produce a change of colour,” he said.

But with the kit only accessible to smartphone users, its impact may be limited, especially as the pandemic makes deeper forays into rural India, where mobile networks are weak and internet penetration remains low.

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