South Africa healthcare company, Atomo Diagnostics will introduce for use the world’s first integrated Rapid blood test which reduces many of the infield errors common with current test kits in the next two months
Byron Darroch, the Business Development Manager at Atomo Diagnostic told the state radio, SAFM on Wednesday that the new all-in-one HIV rapid test device, AtomoRapid, will be available in South Africa for use August.
“The AtomoRapid is a combination of all the components of already existing HIV test kits making it simpler and safer to use,” he told the state broadcaster.
Darroch said Atomo Diagnostic notes that rapid testing is recognised as an increasingly important weapon in the fight to bring HIV/Aids under control in South Africa and other high disease burden countries. Whilst performance of most rapid HIV tests in the laboratory is very good, the use of complicated HIV test kits under real world conditions typically results in a significant reduction in the accuracy of HIV testing in the field.
He said his company has engaged with the South Africa’s department of Health, and is set to dispatch samples that would be carried out in government hospitals.
Darroch said although the device would be made available to wellness clinic and screening companies, it would not be purchased over the counter. The device will have a price tag of $2.
When asked about the accuracy of the device, Darroch said: “While studies have shown current tests to have an average 93.5 percent sensitivity, with additional training and quality control, only increasing that number to 95.1 percent, the AtomoRapid’s sensitivity is 99.8 percent and 99.7 percent accurate”.
Across Africa, this potentially results in several hundred thousand people being misdiagnosed with HIV every year.
Understandably, the effect of misdiagnosing a person who is HIV positive can be devastating and invariably results in increased transmission. Consider the impact of the disease and stigma on families and relationships, loss of income and cost of treatment – all of which may have been avoided by using next generation testing device.