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Industrial Technology Research Institute


ITRI’s Tech Innovation for COVID-19 Featured on Discovery Channel


ITRI developed the world’s smallest molecular rapid test system iPMx for COVID-19 screening.
ITRI developed the world’s smallest molecular rapid test system iPMx for COVID-19 screening.

"Taiwan Revealed", a TV documentary series produced by Discovery Channel, premiered today in Taipei, highlighting some of the nation’s technological innovations including the iPMx Molecular Rapid Test System developed by ITRI. The story of iPMx presented in the “Biomedical Technology” episode is slated to be first broadcast on Discovery Channel across Asia-Pacific on October 18 (10:00 pm, UTC+8). The series is expected to reach about three million households in 33 countries throughout the region. Viewers can learn about how ITRI researchers have worked to develop this compact, accurate, and efficient solution for COVID-19 virus detection and how it can help in combating against the pandemic.

ITRI’s Vice President and General Director of Biomedical Technology and Device Research Laboratories Chii-Wann Lin commented that countries around the world are striving to develop testing methods and vaccines to stop the spread of COVID-19. ITRI, for its part, developed a rapid test device and reagent using a nucleic acid detection technique in the shortest time possible. “I am glad that this fascinating story can be revealed on Discovery Channel, making the R&D team’s efforts and achievements more visible,” he said. According to Dr. Lin, with its lightweight design and precise detection, iPMx is suitable for use in medical facilities or border checkpoints for rapid screening. He expects that the impact of iPMx can be expanded globally, thereby facilitating more technological cooperation to help those in need curb the deadly virus effectively.

ITRI’s iPMx Molecular Rapid Test System adopts the qPCR approach and has four key features: (1) High Precision: Accuracy is over 90%; (2) High Sensitivity: Virus can be detected in the early stage of infection; (3) Lightweight: The canister weighs only 600 grams, which is 57 times lighter than traditional testing devices, making it easy to carry around; (4) High Efficiency: Only one hour is needed to complete the test, which is 1/4 the time needed by existing tests.

In July, iPMx participated in the COVID-19 Proficiency Test of the Quality Control for Molecular Diagnostics (QCMD) and demonstrated excellent performance by yielding correct results for all samples. Moreover, the system has been granted the COVID-19 related EUA (Emergency Use of Authorization) on Manufacturing of Medical Devices from the Taiwan Food and Drug Administration (TFDA). A trial production of 10 kits and 10,000 reagents was completed in August. With more intensive collaboration with industrial partners, mass production can be expected in 2021.

“Taiwan Revealed: Biomedical Technology” Broadcast Schedule Across the Asia-Pacific:
Taiwan: 18th Oct, Sun, 10 PM
SEA: 1st Nov, Sun, 09:55 PM
Japan: 25th Oct, Sun, 7 PM
India: 24th Oct, Sat, 6 PM
Australia: 1st Nov, Sat, 10:55 PM
New Zealand: 1st Nov, Sat, 10:15 PM

The TV documentary series “Taiwan Revealed” will be first broadcast on Discovery Channel on October 11, 2020.
The TV documentary series “Taiwan Revealed” will be first broadcast on Discovery Channel on October 11, 2020.

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