Alberta Health Services is partnering up with a Canadian technology company to enable rapid testing for COVID-19.

Spartan Bioscience is in the late stages of developing a hand-held device which can confirm test results for the virus in less than one hour.

It will be used to support testing in rural and remote areas, like Indigenous communities, by eliminating the need for lab samples to travel to the nearest lab which can be a logistical challenge.

As part of the $9.5-million dollar contract, AHS will receive 250 handheld devices along with 100,000 testing kits to be distributed to healthcare facilities outside of Edmonton and Calgary.

The first shipment will arrive next month while Health Canada is expected to approve the use of the rapid test kits within the next few weeks.

Written by Tina Karst, MyLethbridgeNow.com