Tata Medical and Diagnostics Ltd. (TataMD), the healthcare venture from Tata Group, has announced the commercial launch of TataMD CHECK, novel diagnostic testing for Covid-19.
TataMD CHECK is powered by FELUDA, a CRISPR Cas-9 technology that was developed in India by CSIR- IGIB for Covid testing. It is the world’s first CRISPR Cas-9 based diagnostic tool to be launched globally.
Within a short span of 100 days from licensing the technology to its commercial launch, intense collaboration between the CSIR-IGIB team, other reputed scientific research bodies, and the Tata MD R&D team helped develop, a compelling end-to-end diagnostic solution that will set the new standard in testing. It has been developed with secure supply-chains backed with a layer of digital services.
TataMD CHECK has been approved by the Indian Council of Medical Research and Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) and will be available through diagnostic centers and hospitals across India shortly.
TataMD CHECK is a lab test and uses CRISPR-Cas9 Technology. The process of collecting patient samples, RNA extraction, and amplification, etc remain the same but uses simple, less expensive equipment and produces quicker results due to a more agile process and
AI-based automated result detection.
The key advantages of TataMD Check testing are:
- Simplicity: It is a paper strip-based test with an image-based visual result readout. It requires standard laboratory equipment and small batches of tests can be conducted.
- Quick Results: Fast reaction time of 45-50 minutes in the laboratory and the total testing time from the RNA-extracted sample in the lab to result is 75 minutes only.
- Scalability: Ability to provide high quality, quick results using standard equipment and minimally trained staff allows for rapid adoption and scale with the potential to reach remote locations of the country.
- Digital backbone: Continuous quality control using sensors and AI-based result reporting tools will help patients and authorities with the evidence of a test, traceability of the sample, and results accessible anywhere on cloud storage.
A New Paradigm for the Diagnostic Industry
Tata MD CHECK offers laboratories, hospitals, and other healthcare providers to fast-track COVID diagnosis services to more people. It allows diagnostic centers to offer Covid-19 testing solutions at more locations due to two reasons:
- Lower capital costs since the testing can be done on standard available equipment instead of expensive qPCR machines. Hence new testing centers that are closer to the consumers in Tier II & III cities as also semi-rural areas can be set up
- Technology-backed faster test process: Quicker Results and Higher Throughput of testing volumes gives greater agility for labs as there are no minimum batch sizes
Commenting on the launch, Girish Krishnamurthy, CEO, Tata Medical and Diagnostics said, “Tata MD aims to be a trusted, long-term partner and help shape the evolution of healthcare industry towards building a more inclusive and integrated patient-centric model. With TataMD CHECK, we are committed to significantly enhance the testing experience of the consumers as well as work with laboratories and hospitals to ensure wider availability and easier access to testing.
The pandemic has encouraged us to reflect on the healthcare sector and our role in bridging the many gaps that exist. Our collaboration with R&D institutions will continue to be a critical part of our strategy to introduce new diagnostic technologies like CRISPR, and develop R&D-led healthcare solutions for consumers for COVID and other infectious diseases.”
TataMD Check test kits will be manufactured at a quality-controlled production facility near Chennai, Tamil Nadu. The production plant presently has a capacity of producing 1 million kits in a month. TataMD is also typing up with leading diagnostic chains, hospitals, healthcare centers to enhance the adoption of these tests apart from partnering with Government agencies.