IIT Kharagpur’s COVID-19 Diagnostic Machine Gets ICMR Certification
IIT Kharagpur’s new testing technology has been designed to ensure that COVID-19 test is easy to conduct, affordable and to produce results within an hour.
The Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur (IIT Kharagpur)-developed COVID-19 diagnostic machine has been approved for its efficacy by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR). This new testing technology has been designed to ensure that COVID-19 test is easy to conduct, affordable and to produce results within an hour. This new testing method, an IIT Kharagpur statement said, implements a highly reliable and accurate molecular diagnostic procedure that can be conducted in an ultra-low-cost portable device unit and costs only around Rs 500 per test.
The diagnostic machine, COVIRAP, was developed by a team of researchers led by Prof. Suman Chakraborty, Professor, Department of Mechanical Engineering, IIT Kharagpur, and Dr. Arindam Mondal, Assistant Professor, School of Bio-Science, IIT Kharagpur
Speaking about this test, Professor VK Tewari, Director, IIT Kharagpur, said, “This is indeed one of the greatest contributions in the history of medical science, particularly in the area of virology, and is well set to replace PCR-based tests to a large extent.”
The IIT Kharagpur statement added: “After rigorous testing with patient samples by an authorized ICMR laboratory, adhering to their strict guidelines, ICMR has now granted certification for this COVID-19 Diagnostic Test. This test has been designed to be fairly easy to conduct and affordable as well and can produce results within one hour.”
The project received financial support from the institute in April 2020 as the Director, decided to establish a dedicated fund to support COVID-19 related research and product development as per an initiative by the Ministry of Education following the vision of Union Minister of Education Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’. Subsequent financial support to this project was provided by the IIT Foundation, USA, to meet the various expenses in the clinical testing phase. Partial financial support has also been provided from the Common Research and Technology Development Hub on Affordable Healthcare, established by Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), Government of India, at IIT Kharagpur.
Lauding IIT Kharagpur Researchers for their major contribution in the nation’s fight against COVID-19, Dr. Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank, Hon’ble Minister of Education, Government of India, said, “I am glad the researchers from IIT Kharagpur have achieved the goal of Atmanirbhar Bharat through this medical technology innovation. This would go on impacting the lives of many in rural India as the device is portable and can be operated on a very low energy supply. Minimally trained rural youth can operate this device.”
Speaking about the commercialization of ‘COVIRAP’, the Director said, “While the Institute can produce the testing kit up to a certain scale, patent licensing will facilitate commercialization opportunities for medical technology companies. Any corporate or start-up can approach the Institute for technology licensing and commercial scale of production. The Institute is open to tie-ups, with due measures of protecting the interest of public health amidst the pandemic situation.”