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August 10, 2021updated 22 Mar 2022 6:48am

Prenetics and NWD unveil reusable Covid-19 test for at-home use

Developed at the University of Oxford, Circle HealthPod can deliver results in just 20 minutes. 

Prenetics and New World Development (NWD) have unveiled a rapid, reusable Covid-19 detection system, Circle HealthPod, which offers polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-quality results at point-of-care or at-home settings.

Developed at the University of Oxford, UK, Circle HealthPod is a molecular nucleic acid amplification test (NAAT) that identifies the SARS-CoV-2 ribonucleic acid (RNA) from lower nasal swab samples.

Indicated for use in symptomatic as well as asymptomatic people aged two or above, the device can be re-used with single-use molecular capsules for convenient and frequent testing.

Furthermore, it can deliver results directly on the device, or to the app in the user’s smartphone, in just 20 minutes.

Circle HealthPod obtained CE-IVD mark and will be made available across the wide ecosystem of NWD.

Prenetics noted that the partnership with NWD will offer the test a wide presence, with the latter procuring 10,000 Circle HealthPods and 60,000 capsules for $2.19m (HK$16.49m).

These devices will be used across NWD’s ecosystem of malls, office buildings, residential developments, and art and cultural centres, which covers more than 14 million members in Greater China and beyond.

Prenetics co-founder and group CEO Danny Yeung said: “For the past year, we have been working with the University of Oxford on the HealthPod, it’s truly a consummation of so many parties coming together to bring new innovation to the world.

“We imagine a future where every household and every office will have a Circle HealthPod, capable of testing for all infectious diseases without ever having to step foot outside.”

In prospective studies, Circle HealthPod demonstrated a sensitivity of 96% and specificity of 99.9% as against highly sensitive Food and Drug Administration-approved PCR lab tests.

Prenetics added that the pocket-sized lab can be used more than 1,000 times and could identify other infectious diseases including flu and sexually transmitted diseases using single-use capsules in the future.

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