COVID-19 Rapid Response Innovation Project


RNA detection made easy, fast and affordable to combat COVID-19

The Challenge

Coupled with the need to protect peoples’ lives is the need to create a pathway for countries to resume economic activity in the face of the COVID-19 emergency.  One way to drive progress against these aims is to develop and deliver affordable, accurate and timely point-of-care diagnostics to undertake large-scale testing for COVID-19. Such tests would enable swift action to be taken to isolate those infected with the virus, while permitting the non-infectious people to return to work.

The solution

Using technology that simplifies RNA detection, the team behind SDx SARS-CoV-2 have created a test for the RNA in the virus that causes COVID-19. The SDx SARS-CoV-2 RNA test makes “gold-standard” testing for COVID-19 more accessible because it can be undertaken on-site, results are available in less than 30 minutes, and it is affordable. The test is able to detect the RNA of the SARS-CoV-2 virus before antibodies and symptoms occur, and is simple enough to be undertaken by untrained professionals. After some additional development, it will be suitable for integration into a self-testing home-use device.


This test has the potential to save medical resources and save lives by reaching much larger populations. Coupled with serological tests to detect SARS-CoV-2 specific antibodies, it could be leveraged by health authorities to develop more effective strategies to safely minimise economic disruption.

All Partners

EIT Health Partner

University of Tartu

External partner

Selfdiagnostics Deutschland GmbH

Katrin Krõlov
| Project leader | University of Tartu
Marko Lehes
| CEO | , CESelfdiagnostics