MAN presents Covid-19 test vehicle for fast PCR test results

28.10.2020

MAN Truck & Bus has developed a unique, innovative diagnostic vehicle in cooperation with recognised experts from the health sector, which can be used to detect SARS CoV-2 infections safely and quickly at hotspots. The rolling laboratory is based on the MAN TGE van. With more than 500 tests per vehicle and day, the rolling laboratory is perfectly suited for carrying out tests directly on site if a potential infection is suspected, for example in old people’s homes, schools, companies or other institutions.

The innovative MAN coronavirus test vehicle will make a vital contribution to containing the Covid-19 pandemic by providing fast PCR test results on site. The quicker that everyone involved at a new coronavirus hotspot are tested, including all the suspected cases, the more effectively outbreaks and any further spread of the virus can be stopped. In addition to easy planning of the mobile test vehicle’s deployment, the speed of the tests is another advantage of this innovative product. With the innovative molecular diagnostic PCR test equipment Vivalytic from Bosch Healthcare Solutions on board the MAN TGE, test results are available within 39 minutes. These PCR test devices are currently among the fastest approved devices on the market. The entire process including smear, sample preparation and testing therefore takes less than an hour.

When deployed for mobile use, for example at border crossings along the motorway, the MAN coronavirus test vehicle displays another of its strengths: flexibility. Test capacities can, for example, be quickly relocated as required and deployed exactly where they are needed. The mobile test vehicle is also digital. Four tasks can be performed in it in one continuous process: swab sampling, testing, analysis and communication. The PCR test results are digitally transferred from the test device to a laptop in real time. That enables a quick report to be sent directly from the MAN van to the responsible health authorities, departments, or to the person tested.

Two different vehicle designs are available: one with a standard wheelbase and 3.5 t gross combination weight and one with a long wheelbase and 5.5 t gross combination weight. The short version serves as a mobile diagnostic vehicle and is equipped with up to 16 Vivalytic test devices by aprimeo diagnostics, a Bosch distribution partner involved in the development. The Bosch Vivalytic test devicesare used in specially manufactured rack systems. The swab tests are taken outside the vehicle where qualified medical staff take care of the patients. This deployment scenario, with a high throughput of people being tested, is especially suitable for care homes, schools, large events or companies.

The impressive feature of the long version is that it is highly flexible in its use, with a separate room for taking swabs located inside the vehicle and awnings on both sides to create additional capacity. This enables a quicker and more frequent change of location. The long version is equipped with 8 PCR test devices. In order to maintain a one-way system when taking swabs, the MAN TGE has been equipped with two automatic lateral sliding doors. The mobile MAN coronavirus test vehicle is powered by a 2.0 l turbo diesel engine with 177 hp. It can be optionally provided with all-wheel drive and an 8-speed automatic gearbox. The standard fittings include hygienic surfaces, automatic sliding doors, air conditioning system and an auxiliary air-conditioning system as well as an automatic step. As optional extras, the vehicle can be equipped with up to two washbasins (for the test and swab room), a computer workstation with a 220 V connection and a refrigerator.

The inspection and risk assessment of the vehicle was carried out by an expert for epidemiological protection from the Medizinischen Katastrophen-Hilfswerk Deutschland e.V. (MHW). MAN Truck & Bus has contributed its decades of expertise in implementing special vehicle concepts and their marketing.