Achiko AG (SWX: ACHI, ISIN CH0522213468) (“Achiko”) and Udayana University’s Research Department (“Udayana”) have signed a research agreement on Wednesday. The partners plan to conduct a study to better understand acceptance of mass testing in the broader population as well as the practicality of mass testing, and its effects on healthcare and consumer and business confidence. To this end, diagnostic testing for Covid-19 will be deployed across three islands in the province of Bali (Nusa Penida, Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Ceningan), Indonesia, starting in late January 2021.
The Study will include Teman Sehat, Achiko’s Testing Passport and ecosystem platform, and Gumnuts, Achiko’s low-cost saliva-based testing solution, when available.
Udayana is a leading state university in the province of Bali. Its Research Department will be studying not just acceptability and practicality of mass testing, but also the implications in terms of resources needed for adaptation and integration of Teman Sehat with existing processes. An accompanying implementation study will monitor the effect that mass testing has on incidence rates as well as the number of successfully identified close contacts, clusters and mandated isolations.
Achiko and Udayana will be working together to administer Covid-19 testing to the population and visitors of the three islands of Nusa Penida, Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Ceningan (approx. 75,000 people). Achiko’s diagnostic test kit for Covid-19, Gumnuts, will be integrated with Teman Sehat, Achiko’s mobile health ecosystem app and distributed across Nusa Penida, Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Ceningan.
With Teman Sehat, the people living on these three islands as well as visitors will be able to book, pay for and manage their Covid-19 testing experience, all while maintaining privacy. Test results will be mirrored on the Teman Sehat app, which doubles as a digital passport. Visitors must test negative in order to board a plane to any Indonesian destination, including these islands. On the islands, Teman Sehat will regulate access to places with a traffic light system.
The research findings are expected to become available within 3 months after launch of the study, serving as a reference point for governments and stakeholders when evaluating cross-border testing in Indonesia and beyond. Teman Sehat’s digital passport solution supports a wide range of testing solutions, including Gumnuts, and can be integrated into other digital passports such as the IATA Travel Pass and the World Economic Forum’s CommonPass.
“Whilst the vaccine developments are promising, we firmly believe that vaccinations and testing go hand in hand. Mass testing and vaccination passports give people the tools to show their negative test results, allowing them to move freely within a secure environment”, said Steven Goh, CEO of Achiko. “We’re excited to be working with Udayana in Bali, a place we all love. The study will create a proof of concept that we hopefully will be able to extend to the rest of Indonesia, and to many other countries afflicted by the pandemic.”
The Chairman of the Health Research Center at University Udayana, Dr I Md Ady Wirawan, MPH, PhD, added: “We are looking forward to doing this research study with the Achiko team, allowing us to learn more about how mass diagnostic testing can assist the local government and stakeholders in combatting the Covid-19 pandemic.”