The Umeå company behind Västerbotten's home COVID-19 antibody test
From March 1st Västerbotten will become the first region in Sweden to offer its residents home testing kits that can detect antibodies for COVID-19.
From the beginning of next month the county's residents can order a home testing kit and take a capillary blood sample by pricking their finger. The sample can then be sent by regular mail for analysis in a laboratory. After being analysed - a process that takes about two weeks - residents will receive an SMS or email and can log in to www.direkttest.se to view their test result.
“It is fantastic that we can once again offer widespread antibody testing in Västerbotten and meet existing demands. As the sample is taken at home, more residents can do it without putting any additional burden on the county’s health care resources,” says Gunilla Persson, Deputy Infectious Control Physician.
The home antibody testing kits will be available for residents following an agreement between Region Västerbotten, Capitainer and Xerum. Capitainer is the company that has developed the home testing kits, which are based on DBS (Dried Blood Spots) technology. Umeå-based company Xerum, who has received business coaching via Umeå Biotech Incibator and the Innovation Office as well as financing via Umeå University Holding, has developed a method for analysis which will be carried out at The University Hospital of Umeå.
“The reliability of the analysis results of these capillary samples is as high as those for venous samples”, says Gunilla Persson.
“With these home antibody testing kits we can reach out into sparsely populated areas where there is a large proportion of older people who live alone”, says Julia Wigren Byström, CEO of Xerum, the company that will analyse the tests.
“Offering self-sampling testing kits increases patient safety, is good for the environment, saves money and resources and contributes to the region's goal of equal care for all. The home test is easy and safe to use and the analysis results are of the same quality as the analysis results of venous blood, i.e. blood taken from the arm”.
You can take an antibody test if:
●You have felt ill but did not have a PCR test while you were experiencing symptoms.
●Someone in your family or a person you have been in close contact with has tested positive for COVID-19, but you have not taken any test that has returned a negative result.
●You have felt ill and have people around you who are over 70 years old or belong to another risk group.
The home antibody testing kits are being offered to anyone aged 16 and older. Each kit costs SEK 200 and is not covered by the maximum healthcare fees system.
To order a home antibody testing kit and to be able to see your test result you will need a Swedish social security number and BankID. You’ll also need the Swish mobile payment system to complete your order.
Home antibody testing kits will be provisionally available until the end of May.
“When we offered antibody tests in the county between November and January, more than 8000 samples were analysed and 18 percent showed antibodies against COVID-19. Since then we have seen a high rate of infection”, says Gunilla Persson.
To find out more about home antibody testing kits for COVID-19, visit 1177.se https://www.1177.se/Vasterbotten/sjukdomar--besvar/lungor-och-luftvagar/inflammation-och-infektion-ilungor-och-luftror/om-covid-19--coronavirus/lamna-prov-och-fa-provsvar-om-covid-19/antikroppstest-for-dig-som-varit-sjuk-tidigare/For further information, please contact:
Julia Wigren Byström
076-800 40 95
Deputy infectious Control Physician
090-785 20 15
Umeå Biotech Incubator (UBI) is one of Sweden’s state-of-the-art business incubators within the life sciences. We help researchers to use their data to the benefit of patients and citizens, improving their health. We support and train entrepreneurs in the fields of pharmaceuticals, diagnostics and medical engineering, and act as a bridge between academia, medicine and the business community.