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IIT Hyderabad develops Covihome, a rapid electronic Covid-19 RNA test kit

Our Bureau Hyderabad | Updated on July 15, 2021

Validated by CCMB Hyderabad, ready for tech transfer

A team of researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology Hyderabad led by Prof Shiv Govind Singh, Department of Electrical Engineering, has developed an Artificial Intelligence-powered Covid-19 test that can be performed at an affordable cost at home, after commercialisation and required ICMR approval.

This test kit can produce results within 30 minutes for both symptomatic and asymptomatic patients. It does not require RT-PCR (Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction), an expert human resource, and a BSL 2 lab facility for the extraction of RNA, so it has the potential for one to take the test at home without expert supervision.

CSIR-CCMB has performed the validation of the rapid RNA electronic diagnostic device for detection of SARS-Cov-2 virus in the swab samples independently with the in-house samples and hospital samples as advised by ICMR. These samples were confirmed for their positivity or negativity by the RT-PCR method.

Pricing, effectiveness

The validation report confirmed the kit’s efficiency 94.2 per cent, Sensitivity 91.3 per cent, and Specificity 98.2 per cent. Each test costs around ₹400 now. However, mass production of the testing kit will help to reduce the cost to around ₹300 per test.

BS Murty, Director, IIT-Hyderabad, said, “IITH has come up with many unique and novel socio-technological initiatives and delivered remarkable results during this pandemic. Shiv Govind’s Covihome is one such admirable milestone.”

Shiv Govind Singh said, “A major objective of the research team for the development of the test kit was to break the transmission chain through affordable testing. We have already filed a patent for the device and are now looking for industry partners for transfer of technology for mass production.”

Covihome testing kit was developed by the research team of Suryasnata Tripathy, Supraja Patta, Swati Mohanty, and other students led by Shiv Govind Singh.

Initial clinical trial and testing of the device was performed at ESIC Medical College and Hospital in Hyderabad.

Published on July 15, 2021

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