A research team at the Indian Institute of Technology-Hyderabad (IITH) led by Prof Shiv Govind Singh of the department of electrical engineering have developed an artificial intelligence-powered affordable COVID-19 test, named COVIHOME, that can be self-performed at home.
The researchers said that the test kit can produce results within 30 minutes for both symptomatic and asymptomatic patients and the major benefit of this testing kit is that it does not require RT-PCR (Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction).
As advised by the ICMR, the test-kit was validated for the detection of SARS-Cov-2 virus in the swab samples independently with the in-house samples and hospital samples by the Council Of Scientific And Industrial Research–Centre For Cellular And Molecular Biology (CSIR-CCMB). The validation report confirmed the kit’s efficiency of 94.2%, sensitivity of 91.3%, and specificity of 98.2%.
Prof Shiv Govind Singh said: “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 Transfer of Technology (ToT) for mass production”.
The researchers also shared that each test costs around ₹400 now. However, mass production of the testing kit will help to reduce the cost to around ₹300 per test after taking the required ICMR approvals, it said.