COVID-19 Automated PCR Testing System Launched

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A fully automated coronavirus testing system began operations at Fujita Health University in Toyoake, Aichi Prefecture, last month.

The system uses robots to perform polymerase chain reaction, or PCR, tests, which dramatically reduces the risk of infection for technicians.

“The system will reduce the burden on medical workers, who are exhausted by measures to prevent infections,” especially as Japan braces for a fourth wave of COVID-19 cases, said Hiroyasu Ito, professor at university.

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The system, developed by Kawasaki Heavy Industries Ltd., is housed in a container 2.5 meters wide and 12.2 meters long, and has 13 robotic arms. It performs all the steps necessary to test samples for coronavirus infections without human intervention.

The university aims to enable the system to produce test results in just 80 minutes.

It is also believed that the chances of infection are greatly reduced, as people do not have to enter the container during the testing process.

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The system can filter up to 2,500 samples per day. The university said tests using real samples have shown it can produce accurate results.

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