Apollo hospitals to run COVID test with new technique by Tata MD; how it will help reduce time for test results

By: |
November 20, 2020 11:34 AM

According to the Apollo Hospital, the cost of the test will be according to the price cap that has been put (for RT-PCR) in different states.

The officials also said that the test has similar result accuracy as that of RT-PCR.

As the Coronavirus cases surge in India, Tata MD in collaboration with Apollo Hospitals will soon offer a new testing technique. The idea behind the roll out of testing technique is to reduce the time spent waiting for test results and ramp up testing in India. The testing for COVID-19 infection will be done by TataMD Check (powered by Feluda) in Apollo Hospitals. The company claimed that this is the world’s first Coronavirus diagnostic test which is based on the DNA genome editing tool CRISPR Cas-9. It is to note that Institute of Genomics & Integrative Biology (CSIR- IGIB) has developed the Feluda diagnostics technology.

How does it work?

Similar to RT-PCR, the technology works on the blood sample collected and just the way RNA extraction and amplification is done in other viral tests, TataMD Check follows the same procedure. The difference is that this technology using CRISPR-Cas9 is more agile in delivering results. The result detection methodology is AI-based and can deliver COVID-19 infection reports within 2 hours. RT-PCR tests, on the other hand, deliver results in 24 hours.

The officials also said that the test has similar result accuracy as that of RT-PCR.

How will it help healthcare professionals?

In a press conference, Dr Sangita Reddy, Joint Managing Director, Apollo Hospitals and Managing Director at Apollo Health and Lifestyle Limited highlighted that people coming to hospitals to any treatment or surgeries have to take COVID-19 test and the treatment is given depending on the results. Till the time result does not come, patients have to be isolated and given other care. Sometimes, waiting for COVID-19 result may have an impact in emergency cases. With the introduction of this technology, Dr Reddy said that the time will be reduced, thus treatment courses can be decided easily.

All test results can be accessed by patients easily via Apollo 24/7 app. The results will also be included in the state/national database for COVID-19 patients.

Where and how many tests will take place with TataMD Check?

Apollo Hospitals across the country will conduct these tests. The testing will be rolled out in a phased manner where top tier cities will have this testing method in the first phase. The test kits will be out from December one in Apollo hospitals across Delhi-NCR and this will be followed by Kolkata, Hyderabad, Chennai, Bangalore, Mumbai, Pune and Ahmedabad. After hospitals in these cities are equipped with the test kits, then Tata MD will roll out in other cities. In Delhi, 10,000 tests will be rolled out first.

What will be the cost of this test?

According to the Apollo Hospital, the cost of the test will be according to the price cap that has been put (for RT-PCR) in different states.

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