During the pandemic, laboratory testing services in Malaysia have evolved and adapted to cater to the needs of the public and social distancing protocols.
As such, labs need to provide Covid-19 PCR testing services by offering delivery services to collect nasal and oral samples self-collected by users at their doorstep and send them back to the lab for further testing for confirmation of the disease
Thus, there is no need for the public to step out of their house. And more people are now aware and capable of using the at-home self-collection kit as this is widely accepted to be used by public in overseas.
Realising the benefits of the home self-collection method and the rise in public awareness, Vivantis Technologies Sdn Bhd (Vivantis) launched the Vivanpop Nasal and Oral Home Self Collection Kit (Vivanpop), under the VivanMed brand. It is a painless and convenient way for the public to do their required Rt-PCR tests without stepping out from home.
First in Malaysia
“The ‘Vivanpop Nasal and Oral Home Self Collection Kit’ is the first at-home dual swab self-collection kit manufactured in Malaysia. This kit is not limited to Coronavirus (Covid-19) PCR testing but can also work for RT-PCR tests of other human and viral genome such as Influenza Like Illness (ILI), including Influenza A/B and Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease (HFMD),” said Vivantis’s Production and R&D department Lab Manager, Teoh Hui Kee.
“The public can purchase the kits and use them when there is a need for PCR testing. They self-collect the samples at home, contact our lab service partner, and wait for the arranged rider to collect them and send to the appointed lab.”
Vivantis, she said, is currently working with Spygene Laboratories Sdn Bhd (Spygene) to provide the downstream RT-PCR testing service for Vivanpop. With a home self-collection kit, users can save time without queuing at a clinic or health facility. It also allows sample collections anytime, anywhere, as long as the collected samples are arranged to be delivered to the appointed lab partner on the same day.
“Vivanpop Kit is designed to give convenience to everyone to have an Rt-PCR test without the need to go to clinics or labs,” added Spygene’s CEO Abdul Rahman Wahiduddin.
“They need to contact us to get their self-collected sample picked up. This way, users can avoid being in crowded and contagious places, be contactless and can get their e-results within the specified time.”
Convenient and easy to use
Vivanpop is approved by the Medical Device Authority (MDA) Malaysia, which requires the manufacturer to strictly follow all the requirements and regulations.
“Vivanpop emphasises dual swabs to collect samples from nasal (inner wall of nose) and oral (deep throat). Dual swabs can also work for other respiratory viruses’ detection,” explained Teoh.
The kit is convenient and easy to use, and an Instruction for Use (IFU) sheet is provided for guidance.
“The key is to follow the IFU provided together with the kit. So, with proper care, correct sampling method, and proper storage, the sample collected will be secured and safe for transportation and delivery to lab,” assured Rahman.
Regarding concerns about transporting biohazard samples, Teoh explained that the kit has an inactivating transport medium (ITM) to inactivate the spread of the contagious virus. The collected specimen can be stored and transported in an ITM tube at ambient temperature. Therefore, the sample integrity will be maintained at ambient temperature within a week.
She added: “There are components supplied within the kit to ease the sample collection and protect samples without the leakage and contagious issues during transport.”
- Swabs for nasal and oral in sterile packaging for sample collection;
- Inactivating transport medium (ITM) tube for transportation and preservation of clinical specimen;
- A parafilm to seal the tube body and cap;
- Providing a biohazard bag to have the sample tube kept; and
- A box which acts as an extra layer to keep the biohazard bag containing sample tube during transportation.
Partners and expansion
Rahman shared: “We are working hard to offer more test panels to the public with Vivanpop and hope it will be accepted as the new way of testing and monitoring.
Spygene, he said, is one of MoH’s panel labs and has a high standard of testing to ensure samples are treated carefully. The lab results will be sent to the user’s email as e-results. This way, users can receive their results anywhere at any time.
Teoh added: “We look forward to working with any testing lab similar to Spygene. Testing lab partners can send their letters of interest via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.” — The Health