The IIT Kharagpur has successfully commercialised the healthcare product COVIRAP.It is a diagnostic technology to detect COVID-19 virus. The technology is also capable of testing influenza, dengue, malaria,Tuberculosis and Japanese Encephalitis. Also, the technology can be used to test other vector borne diseases.
The testing cost of the COVIRAP based device is Rs 500.The device will minimize the need for real time PCR machines and also for thermal cyclers.It is a cuboid shaped portable testing device.It is capable of delivering the results in an hour. This will help to scale up the screening of COVID-19 in rural and peripheral areas.
The COVIRAP based machines can be developed at a cost of less than Rs 10,000 and conducts COVID-19 test using a swab sample. It does not require a separate facility for RNA extraction.
It is now being launched for commercialization after getting validated by ICMR (Indian Council of Medical Research). Recently, the research team from IIT Kharagpur has developed a more advanced version of COVIRAP using isothermal nuclei acid testing technology for rapid diagnostics of the infections.
It has a special detection unit for genomic analysis, pre-programmable temperature control unit and a customised smartphone app for results. It also has three master mixes that work as markers of different genes to confirm the presence of COVID-19. The samples collected through swabs react with these mixes. The paper strips coded with required chemicals are then dipped into the reaction products from the samples and mixes. The coloured lines indicate the presence of the COVID-19 virus.