Your contributions were valuable in helping us move forward while we waited for our UK Government Innovate UK funding to come through. We had applied for this I believe in April 2020 and only received final confirmation on December 7th 2020, which made a Christmas release impossible. The new team made remarkable progress, continuing work late into the night and on weekends so that it would be ready for the trial that would be a vital step to get regulatory approval (so the public could actually use the device) in Italy in late December 2020. However we have been waiting since then for the EU based EC Campania ethical approval committee to meet to allow us to start testing and they still will not give us a date for their meeting.
In the meantime we have substantial progress for the UK and Japan, though as you can imagine there are many political and administrative challenges.
As lockdowns release there are expected to be significant numbers of Covid deaths despite the success of the vaccines (some predict 30,000 deaths in the UK with the phased relaxation of restrictions), so we are still in a race against time to get the test approved and into use. If vaccine resistant strains emerge it will be all the more important in cutting spread and avoiding the need for further lockdowns.
Beyond Covid there is additional value to the world as we can see that the device has huge potential for detecting leukaemia, anaemia, malaria, sickle cell anaemia, diabetes and liver function to name just a few. In any case it is our aim to give value and recognition to those who have helped us. For now we continue working to get the testing method into large scale use and, in parallel, to complete the home test ready for mass production.
We are developing a device that clips onto a smartphone and allows anyone to test themselves regularly for COVID via an app. The method for this breakthrough new test won an international coronavirus competition and is about to be trialled in Italy. Unlike other tests, it will quickly and frequently check whether tens of millions of people have COVID before they get symptoms.
Why do we think people like you will want to support this?
The positive impact on you, your family, the NHS, jobs, your favourite activities - everything affected by COVID - will be dramatically different from other types of test:
People will be able to stay home right away if they are infected, rather than unknowingly infecting others, cutting the spread right down; if you test negative you'll be able to go about your life - with no need for mass lockdowns.
Why is this needed?
Even the other tests under development at huge expense will not be able to test enough people often enough or at low enough cost for frequent mass testing, and will not be able to detect the virus in the early stages of infection, so will not prevent pre-symptom spread of the disease - hence the ongoing need for restrictions and lockdowns.
Even with the lockdowns and restrictions we have had, 1 out of every 1411 people in the UK have already died with COVID. If the 'reasonable worse case scenario' of 85,000 deaths over the winter occurs, 1 out of every 500 people in the UK will have died with Covid by Spring.
The sooner we can have the home test ready, the sooner we can prevent deaths, illness and the needs for damaging restrictions and lockdowns.
If the crowdfunder really takes off, and takes off fast, we could even have the home test ready by Christmas, preventing tens of thousands of deaths this winter and allowing a return to normal life.
What to do:
Pre-order tests for health and care workers, for yourself or for your community, by choosing a reward. Or make a donation of any size. Please also share the page to spread the word and help create a snowball effect!
Rewards range from a single testing device and app for yourself to family packs, business packs and large community or health and care worker packs. To get more than one of the same reward or pack, enter the quantity in the 'Your Rewards' section, in the left hand side of the checkout. (If you are outside the UK, ignore the 'Find UK address' button and click 'Add address manually'.)
Like the virus itself, if you share this page with several people and encourage them to contribute, and some of them do the same, you can start a wave that reaches hundreds or thousands of people - who can join us in ending the need for restrictions and lockdowns. The sooner you do it the bigger that wave will get, so try it now if you can - it only takes a moment.
If you can't see the options on the page, scroll up to click the orange 'Support Us' button.
The new method identifies 98.7% of infections with almost no false positives, can give results in seconds, and identifies the virus immediately on infection. It has a fraction of the cost of current tests and does not need lab facilities, so applies to developing countries too.
- It's been featured on BBC Television on South Today (20 October 2020) https://youtu.be/_N8_NLExR0g;
- Across the country on Heart Radio https://planetradio.co.uk/greatest-hits/beds-bucks-herts/news/coronavirus-test-could-end-lockdown/
- BBC Three Counties: www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/p08thp6c and
- In the newspapers https://www.bucksherald.co.uk/business/could-aylesbury-vale-developed-quick-coronavirus-test-be-way-out-pandemic-3005369
Even if a working vaccine comes out, it will take time and won't be available to everyone, and natural immunity lasts only a few months. So both now and in future it's crucial to stop the virus being spread by people who don't yet know they have it. We suggest weekly tests for everyone and daily tests for high-risk individuals.
We have a full certification (CE, MHRA, FDA) and manufacture pathway (2 offshore factories that can start producing up to hundreds of thousands of units a day with 10 day lead time) worked out to make it happen. We now need to develop specific aspects of the device, app and high volume image analysis.
Our founder is a former cancer scientist with AI and medical engineering experience, and we have an excellent team ready to start to get this solution to the public rapidly, to stop the spread of the virus and end lockdowns and other restrictions.
If you are interested in the science behind the new test, in summary it uses a specific early immune response involving different types of white blood cells, rather than relying on the later build up of the virus or antibodies. Here is the peer-reviewed paper (scientific description checked by other scientists) of the process:
We will make best use of the vital funds our supporters contribute. Even if we don't reach the target, we can put smaller amounts to excellent use - for example for 3D printing prototype devices to help bring in larger scale funds - and medium sized amounts will allow us to progress even more while getting longer term funds in place.
We hope that you or your organization will recognize the impact you can make on bringing an end to the crisis by acting fast. Please contribute what you can and encourage others to do the same!