Testing has been the cornerstone of most countries response to COVID-19 containment. The current most used technique is Polymerase chain reaction (PCR). The issue is it can take 4-24 hours to get a result, requires laboratories, skilled staff and lots of reagents and can cost north of $100 a test. Blood, or serology based testing, looks for antibodies. Results can be faster, 20 minutes, and can provide an indication that the person being tested had the virus in the past but does not indicate active infections. The costs are more modest, around $30 per test, but have been discarded by some due to low levels of accuracy.
The Loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) test is a single-tube technique for the amplification of DNA. Developed by a Japanese group of researchers at the Osaka University Medical School in Japan two decades ago, LAMP is performed in a single tube, at a constant temperature for very little cost, to detect DNA. The technique amplifies DNA quickly—with high specificity and efficiency.
It is more accurate than PCR can be conducted on-site at an Airport without the need for labs, delivers results in under 45 minutes and costs, with TravelSafe Systems (TSS), around $45 per test or less on volumes. This provides a real alternative for mass testing that protects travelers, airport staff and flight crews.
TSS have taken this a step further by integrating test results into a secure immutable application to provide a certificate of test results that can be used in the flow through security and boarding the aircraft.
The business model can be simple whereby the Airport provides the testing facility and holding areas and charges the airlines with a mark-up on their current contract. Airlines can then decide if they wish to pass on the costs to the travelers through their own pricing. Alternatively Governments that are keen to get the travel economy moving can underwrite the costs, or reduce current taxes.
Either way TSS have a vision to “Make Travel Safe Again” and they are very close to achieving it.