Israeli officials have revealed that the country has ordered hundreds of quick Personal PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) Covid-19 test kits from the company Visby Medical. The FDA approved kits are expected to arrive in Israel next week.
Accuracy and speed are the two most important things when it comes to testing for the Corona Virus. A high false negative rate means that many people who are actually infected believe that they are virus free. The current three day wait for test results means that many days of continued isolation and/or the possibility of infection before even getting your test results.
Founded in 2010, Visby Medical offers a Personal PCR that fits in the palm of your hand. It says that test results can be had in only 30 minutes. It boasts that the test, “goes anywhere to deliver the serious infection result you need in minutes, not days.”
Personal PCR is a single-use device that is the size of a deck of cards. It is self-contained; no additional equipment is required. One device runs on one person’s sample and delivers the test result in less than 30 minutes.
Israeli Professor Adam de la Zerda founded the company in the US. He told Globes, “For Covid-19 PCR tests – that we’ve all come to know well in recent months – samples are heated and cooled about 40 times.”
“Try cooling a hot cup of coffee. If it spills on your desk, it cools in a second because the surface area has increased. Yet surprisingly, they didn’t think about doing it for PCR.”
So the device speeds up the time to get test results by increasing the surface area on which the samples are spread.
Israel’s Minister of Defense and Co-Prime Minister Benny Gantz tweeted, “Important update in the Corona War: After months of effort by the defense establishment, rapid test kits will arrive at the biological institute in the coming days, providing an answer in 23 minutes.”
“Thanks to our effort, Israel is the first country in the world (!) To receive this service. This is a big news that will help us cut the gluing chains quickly and efficiently.”
We're Visby Medical, a new kind of diagnostics company — one that’s shrunk the power of the lab into a device small enough to fit in the palm of your hand. Click below to learn more.https://t.co/zOT8QQEhFO#VisbyMedical #personalPCR #modcomplex #PCRTesting #PCR #PCRtest pic.twitter.com/lI41soxOWP
— Visby Medical, Inc. (@visbymedical) October 2, 2020
Israel’s Minister of Science and Technology Yizhar Shai told Calcalist that the Israeli government had been in contact with Visby for four months now over the acquisition of the devices.
“As far as I know we are the first country that will receive these kits,” said Shai.
“The next stage is to turn this into a big commercial partnership with the Ministry of Defense and the Ministry of Health and that is why we are already looking into additional places we would like to use these rapid tests.”
The Minister also revealed that Israel is looking into the possibility of producing these kits locally.