It is very important to conduct aggressive testing of people to manage the COVID-19 pandemic and quarantine those who test positive to contain the spread of this virus. It is the need of the hour to start testing our population in bulk. One way to resolve this and to efficiently use resources is by increasing the testing capacity by pooling of samples and reducing the number of test kits used.
IIT Bombay researchers developed a quantitative non-adaptive pooling scheme – Tapestry Pooling. In cases where most of the tests conducted are negative for the virus, this algorithm accurately identifies the status of each sample with pooled testing.
To facilitate the implementation of this scheme in clinical laboratory settings, Shop101 developed an Android application called BYOM Smart Testing App.
What is Tapestry pool testing?
As per the authors of the research paper of Tapestry pooling, “is a novel pooling strategy that increases both capacity and throughput beyond simple pooling. Tapestry pooling gives confirmed results in a single round of testing by testing each sample thrice as part of three different pools. The pooling design is chosen in a combinatorial manner to make decoding possible.”
Tapestry is a single-round smart pooling technique in the fight against Covid-19.
How is Tapestry pool testing different from other pooled testing methods?
The Tapestry Pooling Design allows technicians to get a more accurate result with fewer tests, compared with other pooling methods. Traditional pooled testing requires multiple rounds of testing if a sample from a pool tests positive with each round of testing taking up to four hours.
This reduces not only the time required in testing but also allows more people to be tested in a short period of time. Thus, tapestry pool testing helps test a larger portion of the population with more accurate results, without requiring additional testing, something we see in common pool testing.
Because of lower times to ascertain results, Tapestry pool testing can make undergoing testing every day or at least once in two or three days possible for a large number of front line workers especially doctors, medical staff, police personnel and delivery personnel. This can also effectively help organizations that want to bring employees back to the workforce.
How does the BYOM app work?
The app guides the users through the pipetting steps required to perform the combinatorial pooling. The result of the pooled tests can be fed into the application to retrieve the status and estimated viral load for each individual sample. This app will be launched on the PlayStore soon.
What is the inspiration behind the name?
The app is named after the famous detective character Byomkesh Bakshi who solved cases with few clues. The novel scheme, likewise, gives “more results with fewer tests”.
Who all were involved in this research?
The team consisted of 28-members with researchers from IIT-B, Harvard University, InStem, Harvard Medical School, National Centre for Biological Sciences and SASTRA University.
The BYOM Smart Testing App has been made by Shop101.
Who is the BYOM App for?
The BYOM app developed by Shop101 for laboratory technicians and medical staff who can enter the viral load seen in the tests. The algorithm, deployed on the cloud, will then make the calculations and give the test results making the whole process all the more faster and efficient.
Where can you download the BYOM Smart Testing App?
The Shop101 BYOM Smart Testing app will be live soon (coming soon!) on Google PlayStore for download. This revolutionary testing process will change the way we conduct pool tests and will help in the fight against the Corona Pandemic.
Until we come up with an effective vaccination against Covid-19, fighting to keep it at bay with rigorous testing is the best possible solution today. Shop101 is extremely proud to be able to help in this fight!