A professor at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Hyderabad has developed an artificial intelligence-powered COVID-19 test kit called ‘COVIHOME’. The IIT claims that the testing kit can help users perform the COVID-19 test while at home without any supervision from experts.
The 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) or a BSL 2 lab facility for the extraction of RNA, hence, it has the potential to be used as test at home kit without expert supervision, the IIT explained.
The COVIHOME testing kit has been developed by the research team of Dr Suryasnata Tripathy, Supraja Patta, Swati Mohanty, and other students led by Prof Shiv Govind Singh, Department of Electrical Engineering, IIT 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 ToT of technology for mass production," said Prof Shiv Govind Singh. Initial clinical trial and testing of the device was performed at ESIC Medical College and Hospital in Hyderabad.
The Council Of Scientific And Industrial Research–Centre For Cellular And Molecular Biology (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 further confirmed for their positivity or negativity by the RT-PCR method. 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 Rs 400. Mass production of the testing kit will help to reduce the cost to around Rs. 300 per test