Because the test can be performed at the point of care, it eliminates the need to transport samples. It also speeds up the time it takes for the patient to receive the result.
The test was developed in just six weeks in partnership with the Northern Irish medical technology company Randox Laboratories.
Bosch says the test will available in Germany in April, with other markets likely to follow soon after.
The companies say it is the first fully automated molecular diagnostic test of its kind.
A sample is taken from the patient’s nose or throat using a swab. The cartridge is inserted into an analysis device, with no prior training required.
Crucially, the medical staff are free to perform other tasks while they’re waiting for the results of the test.
It takes just 100 devices to evaluate up to 1,000 tests per day. In the laboratory, Bosch recorded results with an accuracy of over 95 percent. The rapid test meets the quality standards of the World Health Organisation (WHO).
‘Time is of the essence’
Dr Volkmar Denner, chairman of the board of management of Robert Bosch, said: “We want the Bosch rapid COVID-19 test to play a part in containing the coronavirus pandemic as quickly as possible. It will speed up the identification and isolation of infected patients.
“Time is of the essence in the fight against coronavirus. Reliable, rapid diagnosis directly on site with no back and forth – that is the great advantage of our solution.”
Marc Meier, president of Bosch Healthcare Solutions, added: “The special feature of the Bosch test is that it offers differential diagnosis, which saves doctors the additional time needed for further tests. It also provides them with a reliable diagnosis quickly so they can then begin suitable treatment faster.
“Together with our partner Randox, we have succeeded in developing this innovative rapid test within a very short time frame, and we are now in a position to offer it to the market. The Bosch Vivalytic analysis device evaluates the test safely and reliably directly in the hospital, in the lab, or in the doctor’s office, guaranteeing the best possible protection for patients and medical staff.”
As of 9:00 on 25 March, a total of 97,019 people have been tested for the coronavirus in the UK. Of these, 9,529 were confirmed positive, while 463 have died.
The current guidelines are to only go outside for food, health reasons or work (where this cannot be done from home). You must also stay two metres away from other people and wash your hands as soon as you get home.