Re-posted from businesswire – March 11, 2022 09:05 AM EST
Audere and South Africa-Based Medical Diagnostech Partner to Bring Africa’s First Home-Grown COVID-19 Antigen Test to Market with Digital Companion App
Two years to the day since the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic on March 11, 2020, communities benefit from emerging innovations
SEATTLE–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Audere, a digital health nonprofit developing solutions to improve global health, announced its partnership with Medical Diagnostech, a developer and manufacturer of lateral flow rapid diagnostic test kits. The partnership will pair Medical Diagnostech’s MD SARS-nCoV-2 Antigen Device1, the first test manufactured in Africa to receive South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA) approval late last year, with Audere’s HealthPulse digital companion app.
Audere’s HealthPulse digital companion app will enhance the end user experience, making testing easier and more accurate by providing digital administration instructions and unbiased result interpretation support powered by artificial intelligence. The solution will also improve public health reporting by digitizing the use of rapid tests and results, while seamlessly integrating with public health reporting systems. Access to aggregated test data will provide a comprehensive understanding of disease prevalence, enabling more informed surveillance and disease management.
“As a South African, I have first-hand experience with the test inequity challenges faced by individuals in my country. I feel extreme pride to partner with Medical Diagnostech and support the roll-out of a COVID-19 rapid test made on the continent, for the continent. The increased public health reporting capabilities enabled by digitizing rapid diagnostic test result data are crucial to South Africa’s evolving public health strategy.”
– Dr. Dino Rech, CEO, Audere
The South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC), Technology Innovation Agency and Department of Science and Innovation, launched an initiative in 2020 to improve the country’s self-sufficiency and reduce its reliance on foreign pandemic supplies by stimulating research and development of COVID-19 solutions, including investments in local diagnostics. Testing inequity has been a prominent issue across Africa, as all COVID-19 tests have been manufactured off the continent to date, resulting in trade imbalance. Medical Diagnostech’s COVID-19 rapid test is manufactured in Africa and designed for the African market, which will increase availability and affordability, while boosting the economy and promoting more equitable access to testing.
“I am passionate about developing African solutions for African problems – and feel proud of our team for creating and delivering our testing solution to Africa. I am a firm believer that innovation must answer the challenges of the day, and I am eager to pair our rapid test with Audere’s companion app to improve Africa’s pandemic surveillance and response. This is a huge step forward in the direction of ensuring Africa’s self-sufficiency in its approach to global health.”
– Ashley Uys, Founder and CEO, Medical Diagnostech
Medical Diagnostech’s MD SARS-nCoV-2 Antigen Device is currently available across South Africa. The integrated digital companion app will be made available to frontline health workers in South Africa in the second half of 2022 via a pilot roll-out within both the private and public sectors.2
Audere is a Seattle-based digital health nonprofit developing solutions to improve global health outcomes in the world’s most underserved communities. Our team of passionate, innovative minds advances health equity by revolutionizing the detection and treatment of diseases, such as malaria, COVID-19, and HIV. Through a deep understanding of key global health needs, Audere combines smartphone technology, computer vision & machine learning, and the best of cloud-based services to deliver tailored healthcare technology solutions worldwide. Development of our projects is funded by grants from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Justworks. Learn more at auderenow.org.
About Medical Diagnostech
Medical Diagnostech was established in 2010 as a developer and manufacturer of lateral flow rapid diagnostic test kits. Medical Diagnostech manufactures high quality rapid diagnostic test kits using its secret methodology for increased sensitivity and early detection. Medical Diagnostech’s products are robust and are optimized to withstand extreme storage conditions for up to 24 months. Lateral flow tests are manufactured under ISO 13485 accreditation and includes tests for alcohol consumption, drugs of abuse, HIV, malaria, pregnancy, fertility/ovulation and COVID-19.
1 The MD SARS-nCoV-2 Antigen Device is a rapid visual immunoassay for the qualitative detection of the COVID-19 Nucleocapsid protein (N-protein) antigen from nasopharyngeal swabs. It is intended for professional use to accurately diagnose acute infection and informs on whether the patient is currently infected. NOTE: This is different to antibody tests which informs on whether the patient has built up immunity against the virus. Using N-protein technology for the detection of viral proteins, the MD SARS-CoV-2 Antigen device is highly sensitive and can detect viral antigens down to a concentration of ~ 1 ng/ml.
2 The application will be downloadable from Google Play or Apple App Store. A smartphone camera and location functionality are used to take a photo of the rapid test result. The result is then uploaded to a secure cloud for public health reporting purposes.