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Vivalytic, a platform for PCR diagnostics

Bringing people together with the Vivalytic Covid-19 rapid test

Clemens Weller welcomes his mother Ute Weller. He is wearing a mask. In the background you can see the PCR diagnostic platform Vivalytic, which enables Corona rapid tests.

The coronavirus pandemic had long kept Clemens Weller from visiting his mother, who struggles with dementia. Her condition took a turn for the worse during their time apart, but she is doing much better today with a little help from the new Bosch PCR rapid test.

The PCR rapid test for SARS-CoV-2 in action: how Vivalytic helped Ute Weller take a turn for the better

Vivalytic — “A blessing for us all”

Clemens Weller talks to Marisol Pohl-Catalan, director of the Villa Rosenstein. Both wear a mask.
Clemens Weller chats with Marisol Pohl-Catalan, director of the Villa Rosenstein.

Clemens Weller is pleased. A glance at his mother tells him she is doing well as the two enjoy a bit of banter with a laugh. Clemens cherishes these moments. He knows not to take them for granted. His mother Ute, soon to turn 80, had been unwell for quite some time. An in-patient at a clinic before taking up residence at Villa Rosenstein, she had been unable to receive visitors for weeks on end. Isolation is a terrible burden for dementia patients, and Ute Weller had been suffering from anxiety attacks. Clemens remembers well when it all took a turn for the better. It was the day his mother moved into Villa Rosenstein, an assisted living facility near Stuttgart for dementia patients. She had come to the right place. Villa Rosenstein is better equipped to help her live with her condition. One device in particular made a big difference. It goes by the name of Vivalytic. The nursing home’s director Marisol Pohl-Catalan says this Bosch diagnostic platform is “a blessing for us all here.” The PCR coronavirus test developed for the platform enables rapid detection of the pathogen, and in doing so “it helps bring people back together. That's vital for people with dementia,” says Clemens.

Clemens Weller is standing at the window with a tablet in his hand, in front of him we see the PCR diagnostic platform Vivalytic.
Clemens Weller is grateful that Vivalytic enables PCR rapid testing for coronavirus.

So much has changed since the coronavirus pandemic turned the world on its head. Meeting in person is risky and has been severely restricted. This is a dire situation, especially for dementia patients who are likely to become withdrawn. They need to interact frequently with loved ones to keep uncertainty and fear at bay. Clemens mother’s condition deteriorated markedly due to a lack of personal contact. But her new home — a haven enabling face-to-face encounters with her son and others — has brought joy back into her life. Thanks to Vivalytic, Villa Rosenstein is able to test residents, staff, and visitors quickly and reliably right on site. In fact, the new PCR rapid test helped staff contain a coronavirus outbreak in the facility at an early stage.

“I’m an engineer myself. And what I find brilliant about Vivalytic is that this technology helps people see their loved ones.”
Clemens Weller

Fast and sensitive

A swab is inserted into a reagent container by a hand in a rubber glove.
Using a swab, a sample is taken from Clemens Weller’s throat.

Vivalytic’s fast analyzer and its ease of use are tremendous advantages. It can detect the SARS-CoV-2 pathogen in positive samples in less than 30 minutes. Vivalytic provides a reliable result in 39 minutes, making it one of the world’s fastest polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests. PCR tests are considered the gold standard of test methods. The validation study puts the Vivalytic SARS-CoV-2 test’s sensitivity at 98 percent and its specificity at 100 percent. In other words, it accurately detects 98 percent of positive cases and every negative case. Another Vivalytic SARS-CoV-2 test can analyze five samples simultaneously, increasing testing capacity to more than 160 samples a day. After a brief training session, healthcare professionals are ready to conduct this easy-to-administer test on site. All they have to do is swab the patient’s nose and throat and place the resulting sample in the testing cartridge.

Less than 30 minutes

is all the time it takes for the Vivalytic analyzer to detect a positive coronavirus sample with the PCR method.

A sample is placed in the Vivalytic test cartridge.
The cartridge contains all reagents required for one test run.

The lab-on-a-chip cartridge contains all the reagents needed for one test run. The microchip inside the smartphone-sized cartridge works much like an ordinary laboratory, only the lab-on-a-chip is much smaller and fully automated. The process is the same, however — the test looks for the coronavirus’ genetic signature with a polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Vivalytic is able to run this test so quickly because its cartridge contains very little liquid. With a lot less liquid to heat and cool, it works much faster than the equipment in a normal lab.

It can return positive test results in less than half an hour. Each cartridge is a self-contained system that requires no laptop, keyboard, barcode scanner, or filling station. Safer to handle, it minimizes the risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection. On top of that, the cartridge and the Vivalytic device are portable and easy to use on location. Developed at the Bosch center for research and advance engineering and made production-ready by Bosch Healthcare Solutions, the Vivalytic system is quite the success story, but the coronavirus pandemic is just part of the narrative.

100 percent

is the specificity achieved by the Vivalytic rapid test in a validation study, which means that negative samples are detected reliably every time.

One device to detect various diseases

The Vivalytic PCR diagnostic platform is in focus in the background, Clemens Weller is out of focus in the foreground.
Vivalytic is an open platform that accommodates different samples and analytical methods.

Vivalytic is a universal platform for molecular diagnostics. The PCR rapid test for coronavirus is just one of many fully automated tests it is equipped to conduct. It can test different samples and carry out various analytical procedures within a very short time. Tests for other viral diseases such as influenza A and B and for bacterial infections have already been developed. Vivalytic was designed as an open platform. Multiple companies that offer tests can benefit from Vivalytic’s innovative business model as well as its previous R&D findings. Updated directly via the cloud, this multifunctional platform raises the bar for state-of-the-art molecular diagnostics. In spring of 2020, Bosch was able to build on these advanced features to develop and launch the first coronavirus PCR rapid test for its Vivalytic analyzer within just six weeks.

Clemens Weller and his mother Ute Weller sit on a park bench and look at a photo album. He wears a mask.
Mother and son poring over old photo albums — Ute Weller enjoys shared moments like this.

98 percent

is the sensitivity achieved by the Vivalytic rapid test in a validation study, which means it accurately detects 98 percent of positive cases.

Clemens Weller says goodbye to his mother Ute Weller. He wears a mask.
Clemens Weller’s mother is doing much better since her son has been able to pay her regular visits.

Vivalytic’s coronavirus PCR rapid test has brought a measure of safety that benefits many, including Villa Rosenstein resident Ute Weller. She has since rediscovered the joy of playing piano and likes to pore over old photo albums with her son. Clemens films visits with his mother and sends the clips to relatives who are unable to drop by quite as often. He is proud of the progress his mother has made over the past few months. “It's really nice to see her being so responsive,” says Clemens. When he later says goodbye to his mother, he knows that it will not be long before they meet again.

Use cases for Vivalytic’s PCR rapid test for coronavirus

The research vessel Polarstern in the midst of ice floes.
The Polarstern, an expeditionary vessel, set out to the Antarctic research station Neumayer III with Vivalytic on board — a voyage that would have been inconceivable at the pandemic’s outbreak. Expedition leader Tim Heitland says Vivalytic is a “game changer.” The diagnostic platform serves to test crews rotating through the ship’s lab and medical station and the Antarctica facility. It immediately detects SARS-CoV-2 infections to help effectively contain any outbreak. (Photo: Alfred-Wegener-Institut / Steffen Graupner)
A diagnostic vehicle from MAN from the side in a car park.
Designed for intuitive handling, the portable Vivalytic device and coronavirus test cartridges are perfect for use out in the field. Several diagnostic vehicles have been deployed in collaboration with MAN Truck & Bus to reliably and quickly detect incidences of Covid. Staffed with trained specialists and able to conduct more than 500 tests a day, these rolling labs can respond swiftly and flexibly to suspected infections.
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