MAN Truck & Bus
A TGE in red and yellow paintwork drives into a school courtyard. A man alights from the vehicle, steps into the cargo area and dons protective equipment consisting of a suit, mask, safety glasses and gloves.
Now the medical assistant is finished – and ready for testing. Because the TGE contains everything he needs to do this. The van is the result of collaboration between MAN and recognised health experts. They have developed an innovative diagnostic vehicle that can be used locally to provide safe and rapid evidence of SARS CoV-2 infections.
The concept and design behind this mobile test laboratory originate from Leeloo Medical and MAN Truck & Bus. Along with the expertise of outpatient service provider MKT Krankentransport and Bosch Healthcare Solutions, these partners cooperated to create an innovative testing station.
Even a cursory glance into the TGE is sufficient to realise that it accommodates the latest technology. The side walls house up to 16 Vivalytic analysis devices from Bosch Healthcare Solutions. These innovative, molecular diagnostic PCR analysis devices can deliver the results of a nose or throat swab within just 39 minutes. And, in contrast to rapid antigen tests, the PCR analysis results deliver 100 percent specificity. That means they accurately detect the SARS CoV-2 virus and not other virus strains. This represents massive progress, since the results from most other testing stations take 24 to 48 hours to be processed. "This rapid testing enables rapid implementation of the actions required in the event of a positive test result", explains Dennis Affeld. He is senior vice president and head of the van division at MAN – over the last six months he developed the innovative test laboratory, which is now undertaking its first missions.
Up to 800 tests a day can be conducted and then analysed directly in the vehicle. One reason why this is possible is a sophisticated hygiene concept. The medical equipment in the interior of the TGE is installed by hand: all of the surfaces are smooth and easy to wipe down, there are no joints in the floor and it is sealed with a protective layer, the underside of the roof is covered in imitation leather. The trailer coupling holds a 400-litre waste box that can be used to dispose of the used medical PPE. Hermetic partitioning between the van body and cab protects the driver against infection.
On site The mobile test laboratory can be used flexibly, e.g. in front of schools, hospitals or authorities.
Safety The swab is taken in the open air, directly in front of the diagnostic vehicle.
Protected After use, the worn protective clothing can be disposed of in the special 400-liter waste box on the trailer hitch.
Hygiene Smooth surfaces and a joint-free floor ensure that all interior surfaces can be completely disinfected.
Speed The 16 Vivalytic test devices from Bosch Healthcare Solutions deliver test results in 39 minutes.
Efficiency Up to 800 corona tests can be performed daily by the mobile test station.
The particular advantage of this mobile test laboratory is its flexibility. "It is easy for the van to switch location and thus reach hotspots quickly", explains Affeld. This is also down to the choice of vehicle: instead of a bus or truck, the development team chose the agile TGE, which can be driven with a class B driving licence – and therefore by a majority of people. Drivers themselves could even conduct testing after donning the protective equipment. Affeld believes this flexibility marks the great strength of MAN's mobile laboratory.
Flexible laboratories like these could save a lot of time and assume a significant role in stemming the pandemic. The TGE can thus relieve local GPs and laboratories and be used in a targeted manner in susceptible locations, such as care homes or schools. Preventive testing, at events attended by a lot of people for example, would also be conceivable.
MAN is offering two versions of the coronavirus diagnostic vehicle, both have the rapid, innovative SARS CoV-2 PCR analysis devices on board. These TGEs can be ordered in the whole of Europe (EU 27+3) with immediate effect.
The van can be on site at hotspots very quickly.