Leading diagnostics chain Thyrocare Technologies has designed a low cost model to convert every ambulance into a Mobile Collection Facility (MCF) to enable labs to reach nooks-and-corners of the country and reduce the cost for mass-screening of COVID 19 (RT-PCR) Test. Since one of biggest cost to enable mass screening of COVID-19 (RT-PCR) test is the cost of PPE and technician to collect the swab samples from patient, the home collection model allows only a limited number of collections in a day. In the home collection model, each collection requires a new PPE and a technician.
Though developed countries have developed a model of Drive-Through testing centres, it is not suitable for India where the per capita ownership of cars is much lower here. In order to solve both the problems, Thyrocare, which offers most affordable tests, has come up with a design where an ambulance can be converted to a mobile collection facility (MCF) for as low as Rs. 5000 by making minor design changes. In this new model, as demonstrated in the lab’s youtube campaign https://youtu.be/lp67xsV6GUE, a technician sitting inside the specially designed ambulance will only have to take out his hands to collect the swab and the person who is getting tested will stand outside the vehicle.
“In March, the PPE cost itself was over Rs 1200 in the test. So we felt the need of a frugal innovation to make it more cost effective and make the testing more affordable to people. Since April, almost 80% of our collections have been through MCF,” said A Velumani, chairman and managing director, Thyrocare Technologies.
The MCF allows the technician to collect the sample with added protection, enables to collect almost 100-150 swabs per day. Since the MCF can move to any location it can be used for screening in housing societies, hospitals and corporates. Thyrocare has already tested the model with more than 5000 swab collections since 1st week of April and has released the designs for any institution or government to use it so that the cost of testing can be lowered to help better trace, test and treat the COVID-19 patients.Thyrocare is also ready to share the MCF design to other testing companies. “We tested it successfully with support of BMC ambulances, and if anyone wants to utilize the model, they can write to us and we are open to share it with others as well,” added Thyrocare chairman.