Latin American company in Chile created a device to decentralize coronavirus testing
A COVID-19 testing kit was invented to avoid crowds in emergency rooms in order to prevent new focus of infections since the testing can be done in the field. Thanks to its effectiveness and low cost, the Chilean Government has bought a million units to face the pandemic. Now, other countries are getting in line to buy the product offered by the Chilean tech company.
Santiago, May 2020.- Bioquimica.cl, a firm founded in Chile, lives very busy days. Today, they are getting ready for the next 900 thousand GenoSUR Kits (this is a medical device to test for COVID-19) after selling one million units to the Chilean Government. As if that were not enough, now they have several orders from other countries, including Mexico, Ecuador and the US. “We have requests for more than 6 million testing kits and we are getting ready to scale to other markets”, says Matias Gutierrez, co-founder.
The explosive demand of the Chilean testing kit, occurred thanks to a few innovative components, (SARS-CoV-2), because it took the experience of several countries to create the final product. “We studied the cases of South Korea and Italy. We concluded that diagnosis is the key to face the crisis and the main problem to be solved by any health systems in the world”, Said Daniela Mendoza, also co-founder. Thanks to this, the testing kit is now recognized as an effective tool against the pandemic.
According to Gutiérrez, crowds in emergency rooms created a focus of infection which made this a top problem and
therefore a priority to be solved. “Decentralized testing is the key strategy to contain the virus. Our medical device allows this testing to be done in an effective way, without putting more people at risk of being infected.” At the same time, the tools provided by the testing kit to take the sample works not only for SARS-CoV-2, but also other respiratory viruses at a very low cost. The kit includes all the necessary items to transport the test in a secured manner with an ideal temperature to keep the sample for up to a month. With the virus inactive during the transport of the test it loses its infectious capacity.
Due to the high global demand for this type of testing kits, commercially, the company is ready to scale to other markets with several requests from abroad. In addition, it has the support of key partners such as Pro Chile, a public agency looking to export Chilean innovations to the world. At the same time, the tech development does not stop there; the Chilean firm now has more comfortable testing swabs for patients. They have purchased 2 million which arrived at the factory this week. In addition, they modified the volumes of the transport tube, where the sample travels, to respond to the needs of all laboratories in a better and safer way.
To date, the Chilean public health system has taken approximately 85,000 COVID-19 sample tests, most of them using GenoSUR testing kits. GenoSUR will continue to supply the country in the upcoming months, to detect more cases according to the strategy to contain the virus in Chile and around the world.