19 May, 2021 - 22:22

Excalibur rapid antigen tests delivered via autonomous drone

Even as restrictions around the world continue to ease and light can be seen at the end of the tunnel, every week brings a new challenge in tackling the coronavirus pandemic, writes Professor Sir Chris Evans, chairman and CEO of Excalibur Healthcare Services.

We all yearn to get back to a sense of normality and massive strides have been made in getting towards those sunlit uplands. The UK’s outstanding track-record in vaccine roll-out, coupled with an explosion in testing capability and technology have been in the vanguard of this effort. With that said, it is important that we continue to leverage technology and innovation to tackle challenges as they emerge.

One key factor in reinstating the pre-pandemic way of life is through the development of anti-viral drugs that will play a crucial part in making sure that the impact of any future illness is dramatically reduced. Companies around the world, as well as in the UK, are working hard to make these treatments a reality.

A second important part of continuing out of lockdown, is through the use of reliable, accessible, and frequent testing, to ensure that outbreaks are caught and contained as quickly as possible, and that transmission of the virus is mitigated.

I am proud that Excalibur Healthcare Services is playing its part in keeping us safe now and in the future.

In collaboration with the UK based AI-company, Sensyne Health, Excalibur has developed a COVID-19 testing app, Test to Go, which will play a key role in keeping infection rates low as offices, large-scale events, and travel open up again. 

The app combines Sensnyne’s MagnifEye technology with Excalibur’s MHRA-registered Rapid Antigen Test to provide an easy solution for verifying an individual’s COVID-19 health status. 

Test to Go teaches the user to administer an Excalibur Rapid Antigen Test, reads and records the result of that test, and then creates a digital certificate which can be used for that can be used for work, leisure or travel purposes.

Working in partnership with the World Senior Snooker Championship, the Test to Go App was trialed at the Crucible, allowing players to dedicate their full attention to the tournament. Rapid Antigen Tests were carried out by Excalibur’s nursing team, and results were logged on the app, certifying the safety of the event.

The app, which will be available through the App Store and Google Play, will serve as a valuable tool in keeping infection rates down, and allowing us to safely return to activities we love and miss.

As we prepare for the general release of the Test to Go app, we are continuing to develop and support innovations and research that will make the journey past the pandemic easier.

On top of supplying world-class antigen tests, Excalibur has developed a major testing capability for PCR tests through our Cambridge labaoratories.  Our test is extremely cost effective, and due to innovative processes, significantly faster, with results issued within 24 hours of arriving at the lab. 

Our app can immediately upload both PCR  and immunity serology test results from our laboratories in just minutes to form world class, fully accredited travel certificates. 

We’ve also been working in close partnership with DronePrep and Royal Mail to deliver our Rapid Antigen Tests to the Scilly Isles, via the UK’s first autonomous drone delivery. 

In supporting projects like these, that deliver real impact to real people, we aim to lay the groundwork for beneficial innovation to solve pandemic problems and beyond.

In addition to developing world class tools for testing, Excalibur is actively engaged in the clinical development of exciting and encouraging COVID-19 pharmaceutical programmes. 

We are currently leading Phase II trials, with our partners, St George Street and AstraZeneca, of a new therapy that could treat people with diabetes suffering from COVID-19. Working on research like this is incredibly important, as COVID still presents a threat to many people with underlying health conditions.

It is a long and hard road to recovery from the coronavirus pandemic and now is the time to keep going, not to let up.

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