US-based digital health non-profit organisation Audere has collaborated with diagnostic test kits manufacturer Medical Diagnostech (MD) to launch Covid-19 Antigen Test coupled with a digital companion app.

The agreement will combine Medical Diagnostech’s SARS-nCoV-2 Antigen test with Audere’s HealthPulse digital companion app.

MD’s SARS-nCoV-2 Antigen Device is said to be the first device in Africa to get a license from the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA).

The pairing will enhance the end-user experience, making testing easier & accurate by providing digital administration instructions and unbiased result interpretation support powered by artificial intelligence.

Also, the solution will help digitise the use and integration of rapid tests with health reporting systems to facilitate more informed surveillance, management and understanding of the disease.

Audere CEO Dr Dino Rech said: “As a South African, I have first-hand experience with the test inequity challenges faced by individuals in my country.

“I feel extreme pride to partner with Medical Diagnostech and support the roll-out of a Covid-19 rapid test made on the continent, for the continent.

“The increased public health reporting capabilities enabled by digitizing rapid diagnostic test result data are crucial to South Africa’s evolving public health strategy.”

The solution was based on encouragement by the South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC) in 2020 to develop their own Covid-19 solutions and reduce the dependency on foreign help.

The new test is said to be suitable for the African market as it increases availability and affordability, along with the development of the economy and more equitable access to testing.

Medical Diagnostech founder and CEO Ashley Uys said: “I am passionate about developing African solutions for African problems and feel proud of our team for creating and delivering our testing solution to Africa.

“I am a firm believer that innovation must answer the challenges of the day, and I am eager to pair our rapid test with Audere’s companion app to improve Africa’s pandemic surveillance and response. This is a huge step forward in the direction of ensuring Africa’s self-sufficiency in its approach to global health.”

The test is available across South Africa but the integrated digital companion app will be available via pilot roll-out for frontline health workers in the second half of 2022.