specialists need to know who has been infected (asymptomatic people) and who has developed antibodies against Corona. At the same time, it has become more difficult to collect blood from donours. So if we combine the two issues, we can offer a first crucial answer to hospitals and caretakers - about themselves and their team, followed by the other people from the region ** ... and add many more benefits (see below) : **
What it does :
a) caretakers know if they are possibly "immune" - or whom from their team is already immune b) scientists will have the possibility to make sure that somebody who had defeated the Covid-19 is (or not) immune, how long, and even if antibodies will go on developing in case of future contacts with the Covid-19 c) scientists and decision-makers will have a much better understanding of the local situation and adjust their knowledge and decisions d) the collected blood will be precious for other people requiring blood transfusion. But also for analysis, and also possibly for R&D (like asked by Memo-Therapeutics), and possibly even for future blood-transfers for people severely affected by Covid-19 (maybe the antibodies could be of immediate help) *e) this tests should also allow to answer the question if healed people might still transmit the Covid-19 in the future, and if yes by which means, and what kind of measures would be required * *f) in case of a second wave of the Covid-19, the collection of those informations would certainly offer a crucial help for the decisions that politicians will have to undertake *
How I built it
The information I got was that the existing PRC tests don't give any answer about the past : had the people been positive before : yes or no ? ** - and some experts are even telling that a negative-result has a reliability of only 60 or 70% (!) - as it came out in the case of the 16-year old girl recently deceased in France. **This means that our existing datas are incredibly"poor" : we know who is "for sure" positive, but the tests are not giving a reliable answer to all those who tested "negative" (in average approx. 70 to 85% of overall results !) - and as we know, tests in many countries had been conducted mostly among patients who showed rather clear symptoms ...
My idea is that this test could provide a strong help to caregivers mainly in the hot-spot regions (to start with), and in a second step in the less affected areas, or also in the very strategic places (to be defined, like for example refugee-camps). There is also an opportunity to make a thorough examination for a whole region like the TICINO district (in Switzerland) : because not so many inhabitants and cross-border workers, but a very high rate of "positiveness" (approx. 385 in 100'000) to Covid'19 This could be undertaken in other selected places. But this first test would give a lot of information for the scientists and decision-makers all over the world
Challenges I ran into
There are still many unanswered questions about the Covid-19 : scientists do not yet know if somebody who defeated the Covid-19 will be immune in future. They do not know if antibodies could bring help for treatment (now or in future). And the sero-tests are now available in Europe - and also in China (Innovita) : in Europe there is a finnish company which is ready with them : Mobidiag, and some other companies are preparing solutions ("Tests Crispr" via Mammoth Biosciences - California and the "Medicine School of the Washington University) ... and Maybe the "Innovita-tests" could be soon available also for Europe.
Accomplishments that I'm proud of
It seems to me that this project is based on a very simple idea : butthis idea could make it much more easy to have the people motivated for undergoing the test (and spending blood). Not only the caregivers, but more specially the average population. And it would give them the opportunity to have a "free" test (no charge) - and a reliable result. Of course, this test could be combined with a PRC test for caregivers (for example).
The other point which could also bring a a good help is that it would allow a "positive" impact towards the general people : they would have first numbers or estimates of how many people have suucceeded to go through this disease without damage. And hopefully could be declared as immunised againt Covid'19
What I learned
I had to look for a lot of informations about tests, diagnoses, healing process, disease process and follow the politics, issues, advices from experts and results in different countries around the world. Which allowed me to come out with a quite simple idea of how we could collect the info and take most individual people "on board" with us (scientists, caregivers and decision-makers)
What's next for Covid'19 Sero-test combined with blood spending
As the idea is very simple, it would just need to implement it as soon as possible in some hospital units (dedicated to Covid-19 patients), and also (my suggestion) to prepare this test for the district of Ticino (population approx. 350'000 inhabitants + approx. 65'000 cross-border workers). Start could be only in Switzerland, but I don't see any good reason why it should not be undergone at the same time in other hospitals worldwide - as soon as sero-tests can be undertaken.