Special Feature
Part of a ZDNet Special Feature: Coronavirus: Business and technology in a pandemic

Brazilian startup develops rapid Covid19 test

Hi Technologies is working on the mass production of the tests, which return results in 15 minutes.

Brazil-based healthtech Hi Technologies announced it is currently working on the mass production of a quick test for Covid-19 that returns results in 15 minutes.

The company informed that all of its 130 employees are focused on making and delivering the tests, which should be ready in the second week of April.

The priority will be the state of São Paulo, where most of the confirmed Covid-19 cases in Brazil are, and Curitiba, in the southern state of Paraná, where the company is based.

Hi Technologies was founded in 2004 at Curitiba's tech incubator Intec is partly owned by Positivo Tecnologia, one of Brazil's largest technology manufacturers, which acquired a 60% of the startup in 2016.

After the acquisition, the startup set up Hilab, a portable, connected laboratory that is capable of instantly detecting infectious diseases through non-invasive blood tests.

With a few drops of blood from patients' fingertips, the Hilab device performs lab tests using immunochromatography and colorimetry methodologies. With technologies such as Internet of Things (IoT), artificial intelligence and through partnerships with companies such as Microsoft and Intel, Hilab can process a variety of exams in a few minutes.

The company's initial offering was a telemedicine system. The company then moved on to producing other products such as birth monitoring devices and sleep apnea detectors.

More than 110 hospitals in 22 Brazilian states, use the company's offerings, in addition to medical practices and institutions in five countries.