The Mayor of the city of Detroit in the United States has just come out of the silence. Indeed, he has just declared that his city will be the first to welcome a rapid Covid-19 test. It is the medical equipment company Abbott Labs that has developed this machine capable of giving a result in only 15 minutes. If the system works, it will be a real revolution.
An effective system
To effectively fight the Covid-19 pandemic, large-scale testing is needed. However, the development of these tests is very complicated. Fortunately, the Abbott Labs laboratory has succeeded in developing a device that can very quickly detect those infected by the virus. It takes less than 15 minutes!
According to the American company, it is a molecular test that will take 5 minutes to detect a positive case and 15 minutes to detect a negative case. So it’s the speed of this test that makes all the difference! John Frels, Abbott’s vice president of research and development, says this solution is undoubtedly the most promising of the moment. It will be tested in the coming days in Detroit.
A REPOSITIONING OF THE DEVICE
ID Now has already proven itself against a variety of viruses and bacteria, including influenza A and B and strep throat. Unlike the “rapid” tests that a number of governments have turned to because of the shortage of reagents required for conventional testing, the Abbott device uses a molecular-based approach. In effect, it searches for and isolates a strand of RNA when it identifies the virus in an individual from a saliva sample.
This allows infected patients to be detected more quickly, and therefore put in isolation, than by taking a blood sample, for example. For the blood test, doctors rely on the antibodies that the patient has secreted in response to the disease. An infected patient can therefore be “negative” if tested too early. “The good news is that many ID Now labs are already deployed throughout the United States in doctors’ offices and other pharmacies,” explained Abbott, stressing that the pre-existing models are compatible with this new test. In total, the company estimates that the U.S. will be able to conduct five million additional tests in April.
THE NEED FOR A BROAD SCREENING CAMPAIGN
No bigger than a kitchen appliance, the portable lab would be able to confirm that a patient is negative in 13 minutes. While early studies seem to indicate that countries that do best with Covid-19 are those that test their populations widely, such as Germany and South Korea, ID Now could reduce the time it takes to get tested… but also to get reliable results. Abbott, however, has not disclosed the exact reliability rate of its product to date.