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Researchers at the University of California, San Diego are evaluating a test that would inform patients whether they are infected with COVID-19 within one hour.
The test could potentially remove the need to send samples to centralized labs, according to the test’s developer, significantly speeding up a process that can take up to three days to deliver a result.
UCSD doctors are close to completing their evaluation of a Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test that will provide results in 45 to 60 minutes.
The new diagnostic testing system for identifying the SARS-CoV-2 virus was designed by Irvine, Calif.-based Fluxergy.
“Initial tests by Fluxergy researchers using a synthetic SARS-CoV-2 virus suggest this system has the potential to change the landscape for Point of Care (PoC) diagnostic testing for COVID-19, dramatically reducing the time it takes to get results, and delivering those results directly at the patient bedside,” said Fluxergy in a statement. “Such a test, if validated by physician-scientists at UCSD, would potentially eliminate the need to send patient samples to centralized labs, significantly speeding up the time it takes to get results.”
The system is described as being lightweight and portable, about the size of a small desktop personal computer.
The UCSD researchers began their initial evaluation of the Fluxergy system using the SARS-CoV-2 virus from patients in San Diego. The evaluation is expected to be completed in about a week.
“If the benchtop performance of the Fluxergy testing system is validated, the UCSD team plans to use the Fluxergy system to test for COVID-19 at the patient bedside at the UCSD Medical Center in accordance with FDA’s guidance while it pursues an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA),” said Fluxergy.
In the U.K, scientists at Oxford University have also developed a rapid testing technology for COVID-19.
As of Thursday morning, more than 222,000 coronavirus cases have been diagnosed worldwide, 9,415 of which are in the U.S. The disease has accounted for over 9,000 deaths around the world, including 150 people in the U.S.
James Rogers on Twitter @jamesjrogers