Digital health non-profit firm Audere and Medical Diagnostech have collaborated to introduce Africa’s first home-grown Covid-19 antigen test, along with a digital companion app, to the market.

As part of the collaboration, Medical Diagnostech’s MD SARS-CoV-2 Antigen Device will be combined with Audere’s HealthPulse app.

Manufactured and designed for the African market, the rapid visual immunoassay is claimed to be the first test manufactured in Africa to receive approval from the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA) late last year.

It is designed for the qualitative detection of the Covid-19 Nucleocapsid protein (N-protein) antigen from nasopharyngeal swabs.

The digital companion app will provide digital administration instructions, as well as result interpretation support, using artificial intelligence (AI).

It will also integrate the results with public health reporting systems, which will help to improve public health reporting.

Audere stated that the integration will allow for more informed surveillance and disease management.

Audere CEO Dr Dino Rech said: “As a South African, I have first-hand experience with the test inequity challenges faced by individuals in my country.

“The increased public health reporting capabilities enabled by digitising rapid diagnostic test result data are crucial to South Africa’s evolving public health strategy.”

The company noted that the integrated app will be available to South African frontline health workers in the second half of the year through a pilot roll-out in the private and public sectors.

Last December, LumiraDx’s business unit LumiraDx Fast Lab Solutions collaborated with Audere to offer a self-collected Covid-19 nasal specimen collection kit for use with the LumiraDx SARS-CoV-2 RNA STAR Complete assay.