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Facilitating Fast Action to Tackle Legionella Risk with Hydrosense Ltd

6 Mins

Novarum™ has created a bespoke mobile app-based test reader and customisable data storage system solution for the world's first and fastest on-site Legionella test.

Novarum's custom-built reader and data storage system, when coupled with Hydrosense's lateral flow test technology makes Hydrosense Legionella monitoring one of the most complete in the world today. The unique Hydrosense Pro mobile test reader is now available on the App Store and Google Play. 

"Legionella tests today are mostly undertaken in the lab, and lab reports are often shared in physical documents or attachments to emails. Novarum's innovative solution has allowed us to create a database where our customers can schedule and manage test regimes centrally, even across very complex organisations and sites, while giving an overview of testing undertaken and results. The value of this data cannot be underestimated. Our test is the fastest in the world, with results in as little as 25 minutes. With Novarum we have ensured that we have the fastest possible solution to get information into the hands of duty holders who can decide to shut or clean facilities to protect people immediately, minimising exposure to potentially deadly bacteria and the risk of disease". 

Greg Rankin, Hydrosense 

The Legionella Challenge

Legionnaires' disease is a potentially deadly lung infection caused by the inhalation of Legionella contaminated water droplets. The World Health Organisation states that the mortality rate for persons with a weakened immune system can be as high as 80% and as high as 30% in those who have not received proper medical care. On average, 1 in 10 people who are infected will lose their life.

The problem is insidious and growing. Europe has seen more and more cases of Legionnaires' disease every year since 2013. The number of cases in the EU/EEA grew by 65% from 2014 to 2018 (from 6,882 to 11,343 cases), revealing a deeply troubling trend. 

Unfortunately, this upward trend in the growth of Legionnaires' disease cases is not isolated to the EU/ EEA. The United States also saw record-high numbers of Legionnaires' disease in 2018, with cases growing by 800% since 2000. In 2018, the US CDC reported 9,933 cases, however, many experts agree that the number of actual cases is likely to be far higher due to misdiagnosis and under-reporting.

The CDC believes that the actual figure could be closer to 18,000 cases per year and the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine (NASEM) recently estimated that numbers could be as high as 70,000 cases per year.

Covid-19 impact

During the COVID-19 pandemic, many buildings such as offices, schools and retail outlets have closed in accordance with government recommendations. This has encouraged system stagnation and low flow on a mass scale which has never been seen before. System stagnation can lead to factors which promote the growth of Legionella bacteria in water systems, such as biofilm formation and thermal gain. These factors can also encourage the resuscitation of Legionella bacteria in its dormant state (VBNC). 

Now that the economy is opening back up many duty holders and building managers are in desperate need of a fast, accurate Legionella testing solution, as most traditional methods of testing are notoriously time-consuming and inaccurate. 

Hydrosense provides an ultra-fast Legionella testing solution which helps facilities to test for the most dangerous strain of Legionella bacteria, Legionella SG1. The test can be completed in only 25 minutes (making it the fastest Legionella test available in the world today).

By incorporating Hydrosense into water management control plans, customers can detect high-risk problems with Legionella risk in any water system quickly, allowing faster remedial action and reducing down-time. Hydronsense Legionella tests can be conducted and interpreted rapidly, with secure cloud-based data sharing, to ensure that spaces are safe for employees and customers to return. This, in turn, has helped fast track the re-opening of the economy and has helped duty holders to maximise safety on-site at a time when susceptibility is at an all-time high.  

About Hydrosense

Hydrosense Ltd is a pioneer in the rapid testing industry, committed to making fast, easy to use, accurate testing for Legionella SG1 widely available. By applying environmental technology to an industrial setting, their specialists have developed a new on-site testing method for the detection of deadly Legionella bacteria in water and biofilm.

Hydrosense is the world's first and fastest rapid testing kit for Legionella bacteria, that can be fully conducted on-site, and requires no in-depth training or experience to carry out. The test can be used as part of a superior facilities water management program or used in a small scale or domestic setting to ensure the safety of customers or families. A test can be undertaken in 25 minutes, ensuring that a positive on the test is immediately identified, and prompt remedial action can be taken – improving overall public health and protecting businesses from lawsuits, fines reputational damage and shutdowns.

Novarums Solution

Hydrosense needed a safe and customisable mobile-based reader and storage system to read their innovative tests accurately, and to allow clients to store and share results quickly while managing test result data seamlessly. 

Novarum created a low-cost hand-held mobile-enabled test reader that is highly functional and can be used anywhere. Novarum then wrapped a sophisticated mobile platform around the test reader to create an effective mobile eco-system.

The Novarum solution is built on Hydrosense's existing test technology to create an intuitive, accurate, rapid platform. This has enabled Hydrosense to easily and effectively market the product to a global market via the App Store and Google Play to differentiate themselves in their market. 

Dr Neil Polwart, Head of Mobile at BBI, said: "Creating this bespoke platform to support Hydrosense's ground-breaking Legionella test was an exciting opportunity. We're delighted to have delivered this effective, holistic solution.

Novarum creates innovative, tailored solutions to support individual clients' need; every app we create is unique – delivering effective, intuitive mobile eco-systems that enable complex tests to be easily and accurately read and results shared from any location."

The Hydrosense app and mobile infrastructure include several key features:

  • Provides independent, objective, repeatable and accurate reading of Hydrosense tests.
  • Provides clients with semi-quantitative results which are indicative of risk.
  • Provides traceability of results and printable certificates for audit purposes.
  • Ultra-fast notification system which can notify duty holders about results, immediately, facilitating fast remedial action and reducing downtime.
  • Borderline results are assessed according to expert criteria
  • Offers simple, fast connectivity to a secure portal for tracking and monitoring of results and associated data.
  • 2D barcode present on the test is instantly and accurately read.

Novarum also designed an accompanying data portal, which is free to Hydrosense users, together providing customers with benefits such as:

  • Independent, fully objective reading of Legionella risk.
  • Highly-sensitive detection levels – picks up event very slight positive results.
  • Connectivity options for scheduling, recording, sending alerts and reporting functions.
  • Customisable organisational hierarchies to tailor the system to each customer's needs. 
  • Printable certificates for audit trails.    
  • Management of test locations, scheduling and data analysis, all in one place. 

The Results

The Novarum App has allowed Hydrosense to win new business and provide existing customers with the ability to read tests accurately, store and share the data seamlessly. This ensures remedial action that can save lives is undertaken as soon as possible by getting the right information into the right hands instantly. 

To learn more about the Novarum Mobile Diagmostic Platform please click here.

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