“We are looking for testing technologies that give instant results. So that we do not end up locking down everything in the predicted third Covid wave,” said Abhijeet Sinha, National Program Director, Ease of Doing Business division at ASSAR.
Leading Indian emerging tech prototyping agency Advance Services for Social and Administrative Reforms (ASSAR) has invited global applications from healthcare entities to provide Technology, Products & Services (TPS) for instant COVID19 test who typically gives reliable results within 60 seconds; to conduct commercial pilots of their prototypes under its Ease of Doing Business program before 3 rd wave hits India.
Talking about the techno-commercial efficacy of the pilot, its lead technocrat Abhijeet Sinha, National Program Director, Ease of Doing Business division at ASSAR said that “We are looking for testing technologies that give instant results. So that we do not end up locking down everything in the predicted third Covid wave. Also, all those indispensable public and private sector operations who suffer huge losses on daily basis can afford such instant tests if proven to be economical too in this pilot program.”
He added that this critical pilot covers key aspects in its initial qualification criteria; like only those technologies shall be considered for commercial-pilot under the Ease of Doing Business program whose results should be available instantly within 60 seconds and has capabilities to detect emerging mutations and variants of COVID19 virus being reported globally. Regarding accuracy and regulatory compliance he clarified that it’s a commercial pilot, not medical prototyping; only a technology medically pre-approved by ICMR / US- FDA / CE-IVD will be considered to showcase their portability, simplicity, cost-efficiency, scalability, having prevention of data falsification & optimization with internet connectivity, high – throughput for testing at international disembarkation as well as last-mile testing in the rural outbreak.
Regarding its availability for public usages, he mentioned that we have finalized a corroborated screening process with competent bodies for applications received between 10th July to 25th July 2021 then shortlisted companies shall go under the logistical and financial planning for execution in the month of August 2021.
We aim to start at two critically high-value international airports Delhi and Mumbai for prototype pilots as they have the highest risk to import mutated variants of the COVID virus in India. Then include 12 other test venues in coordination with state governments in the same phase of the pilot to make domestic air travel also a safe passage of transportation regardless of predicted waves and possible lockdowns.
MIT and Harvard University have recently designed a novel face mask that can diagnose the wearer with Covid-19 within about 90 minutes and research is continuously going towards reducing the test result time in seconds from minutes. Countries like Israel and New Zealand have developed few very significant and reliable test methods to conduct COVID tests within few seconds to become mask-free today with zero-death rates and negligible positive results in rapid tests conducted daily as prevention. India is following Israel which became the first country in the world to declare itself Covid-19 free in April currently followed by New Zealand.
Talking about the obstacles and challenges he said “Time has gone when vaccines or technology like POLIO used to take years to reach India and then decades to reach it’s to its remote demography. Now COVID19 vaccines are not only available in India from day one of their inventions but also getting manufactured in India. Ease of Doing Business prototype pilots is the shortest distance between any emerging technology and its speedy commercialization to reach out to masses and demography. Due to leadership support to reform, perform & transform despite being a private entity in the field of policy entrepreneurship ASSAR has proven to be an all-around pilot facilitator from compliance to credit for emerging technologies in India.”
He mentioned that these pilots also bring policy level-commercial support from relevant government bodies and ministries. So that these emerging TECH pilots of national importance don’t get stuck in regulatory permissions and bureaucratic retapes. However, our limited resources and bandwidth don’t allow us to conduct pilots for all requested emerging technology prototypes without strict scrutiny, interest, and consent from the leadership to conduct them on a priority basis in the public interest. But in this particular COVID tech pilot, we see all stakeholders coming together to take back everything that COVID has taken back from our day-to-day life and economic operations.
Disclaimer: This is a company press release. No HT journalist is involved in the creation of this content.