Covid-19 in UAE: This lab on wheels can conduct 2,000 tests a day

Dubai - These can include 225 pathogens in 10 different criteria.

By Saman Haziq

Published: Mon 21 Jun 2021, 8:01 PM

Last updated: Mon 21 Jun 2021, 8:04 PM

A mobile laboratory that can provide over 2,000 tests — including PCR tests — per day, was unveiled in Dubai on Monday.

Health-tech company G42 Healthcare launched the unique Seegene Mobile Station in partnership with Korean biotechnology company Seegene Inc, to provide optimised molecular diagnosis and tests on-the-go.

While other mobile laboratories in the region mostly do only sample collection, the Seegene station is an all-in-one platform that enables 2,000 tests per day. These can include 225 pathogens in 10 different criteria and offers a streamlined, automated workflow, ranging from pre-extraction to data analysis.

Resembling a huge container, the mobile station also includes an equipment room and an extraction room. It houses a biosafety level-2 laboratory for the extraction room, collection device and instruments. It can be transported by sea or land, and can be easily installed in public places such as airports, schools and labour accommodations. It can also easily reach underdeveloped areas that lack adequate medical facilities.

Ashish Koshy, CEO of G42 Healthcare, said: “This mobile station will significantly contribute to the mitigation efforts as it will help governments control areas where epidemics spread easily and to place the laboratory near crowded places, such as community events.”

Speaking to Khaleej Times, Koshy said: “What makes this lab stand out is that it provides multiple solutions from one laboratory. This lab will not only take samples, but test them and process them at any location to safeguard the health of communities, ensuring swift detection and allowing them to benefit, regardless of the location.

“It can work wonders for a large event such as Dubai Expo, where a huge footfall is expected. You can test visitors on the spot. These tests include both PCR or rapid testing, where standard PCR tests can take somewhere between 6 to 7 hours, while rapid testing can be yield results in an hour or even 25-minute tests,” he added.

Fully-operational within 14 days, with a simple and fast set up, the station can offer complete molecular testing and perform high number of tests with minimum number of medical staff.

Speaking at the launch, James Park, Seegene executive director, said the mobile station has an accurate and simple way of testing that complements mobile stations’ mass testing capabilities.

“The specimen delivery time can be significantly reduced with increased accessibility with specimen collection centres. The design structure of the mobile lab is unique as it separates the equipment, extraction and PCR rooms, allowing quality management by minimising contamination during the testing process. In this environment, the medical staff can follow a systematic and efficient workflow, from specimen collection to data analysis, making it a complete testing lab.”

The mobile laboratory services will be on offer across the MENA region, including the UAE, Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Sudan, Palestine, Jordan, Syria, Iraq, Iran, Pakistan, Lebanon, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and Yemen.

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