Manly Company To Bring ‘Game-Changing’ EasyNAT COVID-19 Test Kit To Australia

A handheld COVID-19 self-test kit that’s considered a game-changer in virus detection will be publicly available in Australia before 2022 ends, thanks to Manly-based Elamaan Health, supplier of the EasyNAT COVID-19 RNA test.

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EasyNAT COVID-19 RNA test is a single-use molecular test available for home use and is deemed 99 percent accurate compared to PCR tests.

The test is capable of identifying all known Covid-19 variants, including Omicron, which is the most easily-spread strain to date.

The Therapeutic Goods Administration has approved the testing kit and it is expected to be available for sale starting 1 November 2022.

self test covid test
Photo credit: Ustar Biotechnologies

An EasyNAT kit contains disposable sampling swab, a sealed  plastic tube for the sample, dripper, buffer, test cassette, zip-lock bag, and instruction for use. Aside from reading the instructions, users can watch a video, by scanning the QR code on the package.

It’s manufactured by Ustar Biotechnologies, based in Hangzhou, China, a company dedicated to developing and manufacturing rapid nucleic acid diagnostic products.

How EasyNAT Differs from Rapid Antigen Tests

rapid antigen
Photo credit: Alexandra_Koch/Pixabay

Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) and RinoNucleic Acid Test (RNA) are the two primary types of tests being used to test patients for COVID-19.

Antigen test looks for specific proteins found on the surface of the virus whereas RNA detects the nucleic acid component of the virus. Between the two, the latter is believed to be more accurate, considering that they are ‘more sensitive and specific.’

Ustar Biotechnologies said most antigen tests detect the protein of virus particle and if the viral load is not at a measurable level, infection cannot be identified timely, which means that antigen tests may lead to a higher false negative rate, such as, more missed infections, especially among newly-infected, asymptomatic patients. 

EasyNAT, which is a molecular test, measures the virus’ individual genome. Elamaan Health claimed it’s much faster than laboratory results, as it only takes 55 minutes to see the results.

The EasyNAT self-testing kit is so far the only nucleic acid test approved by TGA in Australia. The rest are all rapid antigen tests, which are done by collecting oral fluid, saliva, or nasal swab.