IIT-Hyderabad Develops Country’s First Rapid Electronic Covi
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The Indian Institute of Technology, Hyderabad (IIT-H) researchers have developed India’s first rapid electronic Covid-19 RNA test kit that can be used at an affordable cost at home following commercialization and Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) approval.

Developed by professor Shiv Govind Singh of the electrical department at IIT-H and his team, the test kit named ‘Covihome’ is an artificial intelligence-powered Covid-19 test. Researchers claim that the test kit can produce results within 30 minutes for both symptomatic and asymptomatic patients. It does not require RT-PCR, an expert human resource and a BSL 2 lab facility for the extraction of RNA, so it has potential for one to take the test at home without expert supervision.

The Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology 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.

Researchers said that the validation report confirmed the kit’s efficiency was 94.2 percent, sensitivity 91.3 percent, and specificity 98.2 percent. Each test costs around Rs 400 now. However, mass production of the testing kit will help to reduce the cost to around Rs 300 per test. Initial clinical trial and testing of the device was performed at ESIC Medical College and Hospital in Hyderabad.

“A major objective of the research team for the development of the Covihome 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,” said profesor Shiv Govind Singh.

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