COVID-19 Mobile Laboratory



In the fight against COVID-19 diagnostic and serological testing are key tools until an effective vaccine is found. Biomedhelix, together with our partners, developed a COVID-19 mobile testing model that allows for a test results in just 30 minutes. Each mobile takes 30 minutes to set up and can provide up to 200 tests a day. Mobile testing offers South Africa a flexible solution to provide rapid diagnostic testing, and can be foreseen as a cost effective solution for local community testing and contact tracing, amongst other uses where rapid diagnostic turn around is key.
The mobile solution is truck-based with all the staff and logistics required for data capturing, collecting samples from patients and patient sample processing in a Biosafety Level 2 (BSL2) laboratory.

Today, to respond to the pandemic, 6 units are standing ready and can be operational within a week of order confirmation. We can have a further 5 units ready in three weeks and up to 20 units total in just 6 weeks.

How We Operate


Our key partner who will provide a laboratory backup and quality control is Professor and Head: Division of Medical Virology, Department of Pathology, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences Stellenbosch University and NHLS Tygerberg.

How We Implement


Our community implementation partner is Kheth’Impilo, an NGO that specialises in testing marginalised communities in South Africa and other African countries. Their health care solutions include treatment, care and support for people infected and affected with HIV and TB as well as a range of innovative community-based models of care that include community adherence, early childhood development, school health and accredited training. Kheth’Impilo’s CEO, Dr. Ashraf Grimwood, is an avid supporter of mobile innovation, and the mobile service concept. Biomedhelix (Pty) Ltd. worked with Kheth’Impilo on a similar concept for the HIV testing and counselling of school children in Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape.


  • When a result is needed within an hour
  • When the mobile laboratory can move after it covered a site. In other words, the site population is relatively safe for a period of time until the mobile unit returns
  • The price per test can be as low as ZAR 900 for a six month project