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IIT-H develops new AI-based Covid home testing kit, awaits ICMR approval to launch in the market

A Raju, Hyderabad
Friday, July 23, 2021, 08:00 Hrs  [IST]

A team of researchers from Indian Institute of Technology Hyderabad (IIT-H) has developed an innovative new artificial intelligence (AI) based Covid home testing kit called ‘CoviHome’, which will enable people to diagnose themselves for Covid infection while staying at home.

According to professor Shiv Govind Singh, from department of electrical engineering IIT-H, as the Covid-19 pandemic is at its peak across the globe, it has necessitated to break the transmission chain through affordable and early diagnostic testing kit at home without having the need to go outside.

Taking this as a base, a team of researchers led by the professor embarked on developing ‘CoviHome’ an AI powered Covid testing kit which is the most reliable and yet effective and affordable.

Already application has been submitted to the Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR) for the approval of the newly developed Covid home kit and the authorities at IIT-H are expecting early clearance.

“Usually the existing current RT-PCR Covid diagnosis requires a costly environment withBSL-2 laboratory set up, which is costly and not affordable for the common public. Therefore we have decided to develop a simple, effective, reliable and more affordable Covid home diagnostic kit called ‘CoviHome’. This kit can produce results within 30 minutes for both symptomatic and asymptomatic patients. The major benefit of this kit is that, unlike the RT-PCR which needs highly advanced and secured laboratory to extract RNA, it can be used at home without the supervision of experts,” informed Prof Sing.

The newly developed rapid RNA electronic diagnostic device was already been validated by the CSIR-CCMB, where in the swab samples of SARS-Cov-2 virus was detected independently with the in house and hospital samples as advised by the ICMR.  These samples were confirmed for their positive or negativity by the RT-PCR method. The validating report confirmed the kit’s efficiency at 94.2 per cent, sensitivity at 91.3 per cent and specificity at 98.2 per cent.

Revealing more on the development of CoviHome by the lead researchers from IIT-H, Professor B S Murthy, expressed confident that the newly developed Covid diagnostic kit will get early clearance from the ICMR.

The research team who had worked towards the development of the innovative CoviHome kit includes Dr Suryasnata Trirpaathy, Supraja Patta, Swati Mohanty and others. It is also learnt that the new CoviHome kit is expected to cost just Rs. 400 per unit and it is further going to reduce its cost if the kit is manufactured on a mass scale.


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