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Contxto – Brazil has likely been following Curitiba-based biotech Hi Technologies since its big reveal on March 13. That day, it was unveiled that the startup was developing and preparing to launch a test to detect coronavirus (Covid-19).
Then, on March 18, the startup released a statement on its social media where it announced that its solution is in a mass production phase. As a result, individuals will be able to take the test at pharmacies in key locations “within the next couple of weeks.”
Moreover, Hi Technologies also stated that the distribution of the test will be in full swing in Brazil by the second week of April.
At the moment, the test will cost around R$130 (US$25). However, the startup hopes to find a way to lower the price and make it more accessible to the general population.
Nespresso machine meets coronavirus test
To take the test, patients will need to find one of Hi Technologies’ Hilabs at partnering pharmacies. But these aren’t laboratories per se.
Rather, a person deposits a blood sample in the form of a capsule into these Nespresso-like machines. Its system is honed to detect the antibodies that are reacting to coronavirus.
Then, the startup’s artificial intelligence (AI) tech and medical team analyze the sample. Overall, it’s a 25 minute wait to get your results as the chemical reaction in the procedure does take a bit of time.
Patients can be notified of the outcome via an app, email, or text message.
Blinding healthtech speed
Covid-19 has spread all too quickly and has every business jumping like mad trying to find coping mechanisms and solutions.
What’s interesting is that usually the healthcare industry is filled with strict regulations that slow the approval process of any new development. However, the tone has changed in regards to coronavirus.
The World Health Organization’s (WHO) Director, Dr. Micheal J. Ryan said this month, “Perfection is the enemy of the good when it comes to emergency management. Speed trumps perfection.”
And if the global authority in healthcare is saying “hurry up,” it’s time to set our obsession with perfection aside.
Correspondingly, governments and businesses are in a race to develop tests and cures that tackle coronavirus. Unfortunately, that’s also led to some phonies out there.
Although one can hope this isn’t Hi Technologies’ case, as its Hilab device is backed by Brazil’s National Sanitary Surveillance Agency (Anvisa).
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