Smartphone app for detecting ebola demonstrated at MWC
March 3, 2015
Scottish company Novarum DX is demonstrating at this week’s Mobile World Congress in Barcelona a smartphone app that reads a rapid, point of care ebola test.
“With over 23,000 cases globally, over 9000 ebola related deaths, and concern over misdiagnosis due to the symptom similarities with malaria, it is clear that something needs to be done to make testing for ebola simpler and more accessible,” said Novarum managing director, Neil Polwart. “One of the issues with point of care testing is the human error risk involved in visually reading a test. Another is the delay in sending tests to a lab for confirmation. Our application addresses both of these issues.”
Novarum DX is known within the mhealth market for creating applications to detect results from diagnostic assays, examples being tests for HIV, legionella, drugs of abuse and bowel disease, working in cooperation with some of the world’s leading diagnostics companies.
“We are excited to be part of something that really could make a difference to a global crisis,” said Polwart. “Whether the app is used in west Africa where facilities are limited, for precautionary measures at border control, or indeed to track positive cases of the virus globally, we believe that this simple to use, low cost technology has the potential to impact the spread of ebola in a very positive way.”
Building on a simple to use diagnostic test from specialist defence diagnostic manufacturer, BBI Detection, Novarum DX has developed an application to read and share the results of BBI’s ebola test, using nothing but a smartphone.
“We are encouraged by the pace at which the global diagnostics industry has responded to the ebola crisis,” said market development manager Nicole Irvine. “2015 has already seen one of our customers launch a home-use app, created for them by our specialist team, and we expect this year will also see a key Novarum customer achieve FDA clearance of one of our reader solutions. And so, whether in the developed or developing world, we believe Novarum’s technology is about to trigger a revolution in true point of care testing.”