Prenetics HK launches home rapid detection kit for COVID-19

August 12, 2021
Prenetics HK launches home rapid detection kit for COVID-19

Hong Kong-based Prenetics Ltd. (Prenetics) has launched a reusable rapid detection system – Circle HealthPod (HealthPod) – for kit at home. The technology behind the HealthPod was developed at Oxford University and boasts a sensitivity of 96% and specificity of 99.9% when it comes to COVID-19 detection. Prenetics has been selected by the Hong Kong government for its reliable COVID-19 testing programme.

According to company CEO Danny Yeung, Prenetics’ HealthPod “will let households manage their health with fast, accurate and lab-quality testing when and where it is needed.” Prenetics has signed a three-year contract with Oxford for the development of this technology, Yeung said.

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The HealthPod is claimed to be able to analyse more than 1,000 tests for both symptomatic and asymptomatic individuals aged two and above. It will require users to collect a specimen with a nasal swab and insert this swab into a specimen capsule, which goes into the molecular capsule for COVID-19. The molecular capsule will, in turn, will be placed inside the HealthPod. The result will be ready and displayed on the device and on mobile apps in 20 minutes.

The HealthPod will work with single-use molecular capsules for all infectious diseases as well.

“Molecular tests are nucleic acid amplification tests, which are the reference standard for the detection of COVID-19. This means they are the most accurate type of tests to detect [COVID-19 in] both symptomatic and asymptomatic individuals, when compared with other methods such as antigen tests.”

Prenetics is collaborating with Hong Kong-listed New World Development and health and beauty franchise Watsons for the launch of HealthPod in Hong Kong. Yeung said the company had already received 60,000 pre-orders from the city and Southeast Asian countries, and that it was expecting to sell 200,000 units by the end of this year.

“For now, we have launched a capsule for COVID-19. By summer next year, when you go to Watsons shops, you will be able to buy [HealthPod] capsules for the detection of influenza and STDs [sexually transmitted diseases],” Yeung said.

Yeung is also hoping to get an approval from the US government for the launch of the HealthPod by the end of this year. This will bring it head-to-head with American company Cue Health, which has launched its own device that uses a test cartridge and nasal swab to test for COVID-19.

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Category: Features, Technology & Devices

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