Siemens launches corona rapid test – coronavirus

It offers much faster test results than previous PCR tests. Within 15 minutes, it shows whether a person is infected with Covid-19.

Siemens’ medical technology subsidiary is launching a coronavirus rapid test. It is an antigen test that is supposed to prove within just 15 minutes whether a person is infected with the Covid-19 virus. According to a communication from Siemens Healthineers, the rapid test can already be used in the EU with immediate effect. Emergency approval from the US FDA is planned.

As has been shown, rapid tests are an important part of the corona test strategy. They enable tests to be carried out on the spot and without medical specialists, for example in the case of air traffic or at schools.

Sensitivity a little lower

However, the sensitivity is somewhat lower than that of the PCR tests in the laboratory. In a study, the rapid test from Siemens Heathineers recognized 96.7 percent of positive cases, while conventional PCR tests are more than 99 percent. The specificity, i.e. the probability that actually healthy people who do not suffer from the disease in question will also be recognized as healthy in the test, is 99.2 percent – false positive results are hardly ever found.

“In daily life there is a great need for reliable tests with which infected people can be identified quickly and which help to contain the spread of Covid-19,” said the responsible division manager Christoph Petain.

He went on to explain: “With our test, we would like to make a contribution to limiting the risk, particularly in places with high traffic volumes and where people often gather.”

Similar rapid tests are already available from Swiss competitor Roche, for example.

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