A NEW 90-minute coronavirus test used on Oxford hospital patients has been shown to be highly accurate.

The John Radcliffe was one of three hospitals where the device was tested.

In the research, the high-speed tests, which do not require a laboratory and can be performed in cartridges smaller than a mobile phone, were used on 386 NHS staff and patients.

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The work, published in the journal Lancet Microbe, showed the tests produced very few false negatives and no false positives. The Lab-in-Cartridge rapid testing device, which can be performed at a patient's bedside, was shown to have more than 94 per cent sensitivity, and 100 percent specificity, which meant it had such a high level of accuracy.

The test is currently being used successfully across eight London hospitals, and is due to be rolled out at a national level, with the UK government having placed an order for 5.8 million of the testing kits. Data continues to be gathered from the testing device for continual assessment.

To perform the test, a nose swab from a patient is inserted into the device, which then looks for traces of genetic material belonging to the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which causes Covid-19.

A result is available within 90 minutes, compared to conventional covid testing which delivers a result in 24 hours.

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The test is now being developed for assessing simultaneously for flu and another common respiratory virus, as well as coronavirus.

Professor Graham Cooke, lead author of the study, said the results suggest the bedside test has comparable accuracy to laboratory testing.

He added: "Many tests involve a trade-off between speed and accuracy, but this test manages to achieve both. Developing an effective bedside test in under three months has been an incredible collaboration between teams of engineers, clinicians and virologists."