Truenat is a novel, rapid and fully automated point-of-care Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) platform that decentralises and democratises access to early and accurate diagnosis of a wide range of infectious diseases.
It's a ‘test on demand’, portable, battery-operated and IoT-enabled platform that provides results within one hour from sample collection with minimum infrastructural requirements and less dependency on skilled manpower.
Sriram Natarajan, founder-director and Chief Executive Officer of Molbio Diagnostics, which has developed Truenat, told Onmanorama that the platform has helped increase rapid testing of various infectious diseases like tuberculosis, dengue, chikungunya, H1N1, hepatitis, COVID-19, rabies among others.
"In 2020, Truenat became the world’s first point-of-care molecular diagnostic platform to get endorsed by the World Health Organization (WHO) as a replacement to smear microscopy for the diagnosis of tuberculosis," he said.
The platform is also validated and recommended by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and has been adopted by the Indian National Tuberculosis Elimination Program (NTEP) as a frontline tool for the diagnosis of TB and Rifampicin resistance.
The government has already deployed over 1,600 Truenat machines at the sub-district level across all states and Union Territories in the country under the NTEP.
“Global roll out of Truenat for TB has also begun through various International agencies including (the) United Nations, Global Funds, Global Drug Facility, etc,” Natarajan said.
The ready-to-use reagents are stable at room temperature (2-30 degrees) for two years. The current version of the platform, which was commercially launched in 2017, can test over 40 different diseases. Tests for over 30 additional diseases are in the pipeline.
“Truenat has played a significant role in India’s fight against COVID-19 by expanding access to RTPCR testing in rural and remote regions in the country. More than 4,000 Truenat machines are being used across testing sites both in the private and public sector for COVID-19 testing all over India,” said Natrajan.
The 'lab-in-a-suitcase' platform functions in a wide range of environmental conditions with minimal user input, making it suitable for use in primary healthcare settings, providing an automated reporting system, and having real-time data transfer capability for centralised monitoring and analytics for disease surveillance.