SensingSelf Saving Lives

As India entered the 14th day of the national lockdown in an effort to curb the spread of coronavirus, the total number of Covid-19 positive cases clocked to 4,789 in India. According to reports, Maharashtra registered over 150 covid-19 positive cases today (April 7). In the midst of all this harrowing news comes a ray of hope in the form of a Singapore-based company SensingSelf’s pre-screening kit, which cuts down the current 2-hours detection time to just under 10 minutes.

Certified by both the European CE and the Indian Council of Medical Research, this self-administered test requires no lab visits and doctors, and can be easily administered in the comforts of one’s home. India currently tests about 18,000 tests daily, and the Indian Council for Medical Research is working overtime to scale-up its testing capacity to over 1 lakh a day. The medical research body has allowed the rapid antibody tests as new coronavirus hotspots emerge in the country. As per the information on its website, it has approved more than 200 labs — public and private — for Covid-19 testing and has procured over 10 lakh RT-PCR kits (which follows the antibody testing).

The Pre-Screening test kit launched by SensingSelf PTE is exponentially faster, requires no wait-time in hospitals, and is a viable precautionary step that could be made available to everyone nationwide, possibly in the days to come. With a 92% test accuracy, the kit tests for 2 antibodies IgM and IgG simultaneously, which can detect Covid-19 cases even in asymptomatic patients.

Also called the blood test/ serological test/ or the antibody test, it defers from the prevalent swab test in many ways. The latter requires the testing a swab sample collected from the patient’s throat or nasal cavity and requires the use of medical equipment and instruments to confirm diagnosis. Meanwhile, the self-starter kit by SensingSelf tests the patient’s blood sample to spew out results within 10 minutes to confirm whether the person is afflicted or not.

It is widely accepted that the IgM provides the first line of defence during viral infections, followed by the generation of adaptive, high affinity IgG antibody responses for long-term immunity and immunological memory. Simply put, the identification of IgM indicates that the patient may have been infected between 4-9 days since detection, while the IgG positive test indicates to a person having been afflicted between 20-25+ days. The result shows negative if there’s only a line on C and not on G and M on the test-kit. 

In the case of the spread of coronavirus, we are all really battling against time. If the tests can help identify the afflicted early, medical attention can be provided at the right time. In the test for Covid-19 virus, the self-administered kit such as the one by SensingSelf can prove to be a game-changer. The company predicts it can ramp up its production capacity to about 750,000 kits per day. Earlier, Kerala had made the ambitious move to bring over 1 lakh of these kits into the state, paving the way for other governments to hopefully follow suit.

We all hope that timely action is provided in making these available to the world at large. These kits that can be priced anywhere between $10-20 may hopefully be available via ecommerce conglomerates such as Amazon, in the days to come, if the company doesn’t hit production hurdles and if distribution channels are readily made available.

(Updates to follow)

(Courtesy: All images attributed to SensingSelf, Video: Dhruv Rathi.)

©️ 2020. Gut and Flow Media Pvt. Ltd.

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