Indian healthcare provider Apollo Hospitals and Tata group’s new healthcare venture Tata Medical and Diagnostics (TataMD) have collaborated to introduce a new rapid diagnostic test for Covid-19, TataMD CHECK, in the country.

The companies have not divulged the financial details of the latest partnership.

Initially, Apollo Hospitals and its subsidiary Apollo Diagnostics will provide the TataMD CHECK testing in the national capital region (NCR) starting from the first week of December this year.

Later, the FELUDA-powered test will be made available across all major metros in the country.

Institute of Genomics & Integrative Biology (CSIR- IGIB) developed the FELUDA diagnostic technology platform.

The companies said that the tests will be rolled out in Kolkata, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, Ahmedabad and Pune, with plans to expand to other cities in a second phase.

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Approved by Indian Council of Medical Research and Drug Controller General of India (DCGI), TataMD CHECK is based on the DNA genome editing tool CRISPR Cas-9, PTI reported.

The use of CRISPR-Cas9 Technology ensures quicker results due to a more agile process and artificial intelligence-based automated result detection methodology, the companies said.

The test delivers quick results and aids in testing more patients swiftly and in small batches using simple, inexpensive, off-the-shelf thermocyclers.

Apollo Hospitals Joint managing director Sangita Reddy was quoted by the news agency as saying in a statement: “The addition of TataMD CHECK as part of the testing arsenal will be a boost to the ongoing efforts that the country has been waging against this pandemic.

“We at Apollo are happy to partner with the Tata Group in what is potentially a revolutionary advancement in the Covid testing landscape.”

TataMD will provide training to Apollo’s clinicians and staff on the latest technology and effective testing protocols.

Tata Medical and Diagnostics CEO and managing director Girish Krishnamurthy said that the company is currently manufacturing the product at its facility in Chennai.

Initially, one million units will be produced per month.