Buyers can choose to pay for tests for themselves as well as “sponsor” tests for key workers and people in need
In a bid to relieve pressure on the NHS, increase availability of Covid-19 testing and learn more about the disease, London and Berlin-based startup Medbelle is offering private kits at cost price – with the option for people to additionally “sponsor” tests for key workers and people in need.
The digital hospital’s test uses a method of analysis approved and recommended by the World Health Organisation (WHO) known as RT-PCR.
This involves taking a swab from inside the mouth and nose and sending it off to a lab to test for signs of the virus. This testing process is the same as used in the NHS, and the lab is UKAS-certified. The lab has additionally already applied for specific Covid-19 certification with UKAS and Public Health England.
Medbelle is selling these tests for £225 – the price involved in the manufacture and distribution of the kits, and lab testing – and is limiting purchases to two tests per person. You can additionally choose to “sponsor” up to 10 tests, which will be distributed to key workers and people in need, on your behalf by Medbelle. These sponsored kits will be given to these vulnerable and critical groups for no extra charge.
Tests will be posted via Royal Mail, or can be couriered in London for an additional fee.
Having already provided free tests to surgeons redeployed to the NHS, Medbelle is now asking people who believe they are at increased risk, or live with someone who is; or those people working in critical, frontline jobs or as carers, to apply for a free test. Applications will be assessed by a medical advisor and tests will be provided based on the level of need or risk of an applicant.
“We have seen that even our doctors have a hard time accessing Covid-19 tests, despite fighting on the frontline,” said Medbelle founder Leander de Laporte. “To fight Covid-19 effectively, we need more tests to understand how the disease spreads and which measures we need to take. We are not doing this to make a profit; we want to do our best to support the NHS in these difficult times; to expand testing capacity and thereby add critical resources where they are needed.”
You can find more information about Medbelle’s decision at www.medbelle.com/covid-19-