In a unique effort, researchers at IIT Kharagpur have innovated a novel portable rapid diagnostic device to detect COVID-19 infection. This entire test can be conducted in an ultra-low-cost portable enclosure as an alternative to specialized laboratory equipment. The same portable unit can be used for a large number of tests, on mere replacement of the paper cartridge after each test. This test has an unprecedented low cost of less than Rs 400 per test, taking all components of expenses and business model into account.
Considering the impending outbreak of COVID-19 infection at progressively more geographical locations with the anticipated increment in the number of affected personnel at a dramatic rate, there is an emergent need to run large numbers of reliable diagnostic tests at affordable cost and minimal infrastructural support. However, the testing technologies currently underuse are highly expensive, despite the innovations in low-cost testing kits as the actual testing machinery cost remains high. Further testing mechanism has logistical issues due to the infrastructural requirement of the testing centers.
A team of researchers from IIT Kharagpur, contemplating the challenge, realized the alternative cannot be new innovations for the existing detection systems such as testing kits and PCR machines but a disruptive approach leading to a new technology and testing process being innovated.
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