Date published:
April 20, 2020

Lifecare and Digital Diagnostics is now developing a new 5 minute coronavirus test

Lifecare AS (LIFE-ME) has a 25% ownership in Digital Diagnostics AG, who is now developing a New 5 minute coronavirus test which delivers clear results on infection.

Lifecare AS has previously established a joint venture with Digital Diagnostics AG in Germany. Digital Diagnostics (DD) will finance the remaining costs of completing the development of Lifecare’s implantable continuous glucose sensor named Sencell. In return, Lifecare AS will give Digital Diagnostics AG a non-exclusive and non-competitive license agreement for use Lifecare AS’ technology. Lifecare AS keeps all its rights to its existing IP and has full access to future IP.

Digital Diagnostics will explore how Lifecare’s technology can be used outside the field of glucose monitoring and data collection, such as in e-health, big data and lifestyle technologies.

Additional technological development by Digital Diagnostics AG has the goal to rapidly develop a new type of sensor device that can be used for immediate tests for the new SARS coronavirus. In comparison to currently available rapid tests, the SARS-CoV-2 MEMS 5 Minute Test™ directly detects the virus over the entire course of the infection and can be read immediately, without the need for a laboratory.

The SARS-CoV-2 MEMS 5 Minute Test™ is created as a pocket size lab and can be used in four steps anywhere on site by general practitioners, paramedics and nursing staff without any training. The SARS-CoV-2 MEMS 5 Minute Test™ provides test results with greater accuracy at any point during the course of the infection than previously available rapid test strips. The first prototypes of the biosensor will be available in May 2020.      

Compared to previously known rapid tests looking for the presence of antibodies in the test-liquid, the SARS-CoV-2 MEMS 5 Minute Test™ leads to a clear “YES” or “NO” result regarding the presence of the actual virus in the test fluid and eliminates the time- and cost consuming transport of samples to a laboratory. The new digital diagnostic platform enables the rapid testing of millions of people and real-time monitoring of the disease spreading. By connecting the digital sensor to a secure, encrypted analytics platform, regional viral hotspots can be detected in real-time and immediately contained.

Faster and more accurate than other rapid tests.

The results of the SARS-CoV-2 MEMS 5 Minute Test™ can give a clear “YES” or “NO” statement about the presence of the virus in the test fluid. The great advantage of this method is that the virus can be detected directly — with a very high accuracy. In contrast, all other rapid tests known to date are based on the detection of antibodies. But antibodies are not detectable in plasma until 7 to 10 days after infection. However, those infected are already infectious in the first week of contact, which is one of the reasons for the rapid spread of the pandemic in all countries. There is currently no other reliable, cost-effective rapid test that can measure the virus directly in near-real time and at a very early stage during the incubation phase.

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