Harmony COVID-19 test combines the speed of over-the-counter antigen tests with the accuracy of PCR tests. It can detect genetic material from the SARS-CoV-2 virus, as confirmed by researchers. Additionally, the Harmony kit can offer results in less than 20 minutes for some samples and with similar accuracy, whereas, the conventional PCR tests take hours to deliver results.
As per Bary Lutz, an associate professor at the University of Washington, “We designed the test to be low-cost and simple enough that it could be used anywhere. We hope that the low cost will make high-performance testing more accessible locally and around the world.”
The test uses a method similar to the PCR test that will detect the presence of the SARS-CoV-2 RNA genome in a nasal swab sample. This will be done with the help of a small, low-cost detector.
Harmony Kit Better Than Normal Home Testing Kits
As per the researchers, the smartphone will be used to operate the detector and read the results. They have also stated that as many as four samples can be handled by the detector and it can also fit into a standard car’s glove compartment.
Home testing antigen kits that also detect pieces of the proteins created by the virus instead of its genetic material are only 80-85 accurate.
Initial results of the Harmony kit have shown that the technology is 97 percent accurate for nasal swabs. It can detect three different regions of the virus’ genome and if there are many mutations in one region in a new variant, the test will be able to detect that too.
The research team has taken the help of a new company, Anavasi Diagnostics, to develop the Harmony prototype kit into a product and also to increase manufacturing to help address the ongoing shortage of COVID-19 tests…Read more>>