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 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.
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 This is a dire situation, especially for dementia patients who are likely to become withdrawn.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.”
Fast and sensitive
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.
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.
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
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.
is the sensitivity achieved by the Vivalytic rapid test in a validation study, which means it accurately detects 98 percent of positive cases.
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.