Finger prick blood test for decentralized, at-home antibody testing through enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA)
At-home antibody test indicates whether a person is immune to COVID-19 and thus able to return into society safely
Efficient and widespread testing and decentralized data collection through finger prick test kit and online anamnesis
Each person has to fill out an online anamnesis to efficiently collect and summarize all relevant data to support research
Results and data can be shared with research institutions if in line with GDPR
Infrastructure and supply chain is already in place. Project starts TODAY.
ELISA analysis with high-quality blood samples in certified laboratory in Germany with >99% clinical sensitivity.
Antibodies are central to the body’s response to a viral infection. Once they have developed they can protect the individual from becoming ill after re-infection by a certain pathogen. Knowing if antibodies have been developed against COVID-19 helps to understand who has been infected with the virus, hence, helps to determine the infestation as well as the spread of the virus and its dynamic. Furthermore, it is essential to indicate that a person is not susceptible to COVID-19 and thus able to return to society safely.
What it does
Our SARS-CoV-2 antibody test kit enables everybody without previous medical training to take high-quality blood samples from home, which are then sent to an accredited lab in Europe and analyzed with high-accuracy ELISA assays.
Furthermore, the user has the possibility to fill out a digital research questionnaire, which will be shared with universities and research partners. The user doesn't have to go to a doctor or a central checking point. After the sample has been analyzed the user gets her result through our existing online platform and clarity if she has already been infected with SARS-CoV-2.
!!!!!IMPORTANT!!!! People will be able to order our test by Sunday evening and we will ship the first test kits on Monday 27th of April. We will be able to ship the test anywhere in Germany, Austria, and the Netherlands via mail, more countries will follow.
How we built it
We used our existing logistics and digital infrastructure for blood home tests and our experience with minimal-invasive blood sampling to adapt our platform and diagnostics to SARS-CoV-2 antibody testing. We established the ELISA IgM and IgG antibody test together with our lab to work with just a few drops of blood (20µl to be precise). Our test tubes ensure, that the probes are stable at ambient temperature and can be transported via mail. Furthermore, we used published studies regarding COVID-19 to establish a valid research questionnaire, which we have already implemented in our backend (Django) and frontend (React). The questionnaire can easily be adapted to suit the research questions of our future research partners.The dataset can easily be exported and shared with universities. We comply with GDPR and our software, which we adapted to SARS-CoV-2 antibody testing is a medical software class I (CE).
Challenges we ran into
We wanted to get our questionnaire validated by a virologist, it was very hard to get in contact with an acclaimed virologist, as they are in high demand due to the crisis. We have now validated our first questionnaire, but we hope to find multiple university-partners after the hackathon in order to adjust and extend our questionnaire to their research needs.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
We will send out the first 50 blood test kits the first business day after the hackathon has finished and will have the first results within 1-2 weeks. Our system is fully operational and our supply chain up and running and from Germany can already order our test kit online: https://loewi.com/antikoerper
What we learned
We've learned that it is tough to be part of big epidemiological research projects if you are a small start-up company. Furthermore, we got a lot of interest from companies, who want to test their employees, especially those working in sales, which could be an interesting sales channel in the future.
What's next for LOEWI SARS-CoV-2 Antibodytesting from home
On Monday 27th of April the first test kits will be shipped. We will work on improving our capacity from 100 tests per week to >1000 tests per week within the next 4 weeks. Furthermore, we will search for research partners, who want to utilize our concept for epidemiological antibody research, as well as look for cooperation with government agencies or big corporates.