Scientists in the UK have developed a potential game-changer amid widespread problems with the government`s testing system.
Imperial College London has developed a rapid test can which can diagnose a coronavirus infection within 90 minutes. Experts say the new “CovidNudge” has shown a 94 per cent sensitivity in detecting cases.
The recent discovery has shown that the “lab-on-chip” gives comparable results to current tests. Despite the effectiveness of the newly developed device, experts have warned that the kit will not be an answer to the widespread problems with the Test and Trace programme.
A major limitation with the “CovidNudge” is that it can only perform one test at a time and approximately 16 tests a day.
Professor Graham Cooke, the lead author of the study from the Department of Infectious Disease at the Imperial College London, said: “These results suggest the test, which can be performed at a patient’s bedside without the need to handle any sample material, has comparable accuracy to standard laboratory testing.
“Many tests involve a trade-off between speed and accuracy, but this test manages to achieve both. Developing an effective bedside test in under three months has been an incredible collaboration between teams of engineers, clinicians and virologists.”
A number of hospitals across London are now using the newly developed device and it is expected that it will be rolled out at a national level in the upcoming days. Recently, Prime Minister Boris Johnson placed an order for 5.8 million of the devices.
However, Professor Lawrence Young warned that “this is not the answer to the universal mass testing.”