The National Health Laboratory Service and other organizations provided guidance and support to the SAMRC. Together with the Department of Science and Innovation (DSI) and the Technology Innovation Agency (TIA), a DSI entity, the SAMRC launched a call for applications to identify suitable projects for funding. The purpose of the funding was to support the development of new and innovative diagnostic tests that could be produced locally.
One of the successful projects funded through this mechanism was the development of the first Medical Diagnostech Covid-19 antigen test. This rapid diagnostic test was co-funded by the SAMRC and the DSI, with support from the TIA. The Medical Diagnostech test has since become an important tool in South Africa's Covid-19 response, helping to detect infections and prevent the spread of the virus.
Medical Diagnostech has announced the launch of South Africa's first Covid-19 Antigen Self-test, which can be used by individuals to test themselves for Covid-19 in the comfort of their own homes. The self-test is accompanied by a mobile phone application called HealthPulse TestNow, which was developed by the Seattle-based company, Audere. The application provides detailed instructions on how to perform the self-test and assists in interpreting the results through image capture of the rapid test device.
The launch of the Covid-19 Antigen Self-test is a significant milestone in South Africa's fight against Covid-19. It will make testing more accessible and convenient for individuals, helping to identify infections early and prevent the spread of the virus. The collaboration between local partners and international companies highlights the importance of global cooperation and innovation in tackling the Covid-19 pandemic. It also underscores the critical role that research and development play in addressing public health challenges.