Keeping tabs on Covid-19: Sanofi and Luminostics develop self-testing smartphone app and physicians estimate patient vaccine hesitancy is at record low

Delve into new market research on patient hesitancy around taking an approved Covid-19 vaccine and an over-the-counter solution for an at home coronavirus test

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As updates on Covid-19 treatments continue to hit the headlines, indicating that the pharma industry is close to unlocking a commercial cure, focus is shifting to patient confidence around actually consuming a Covid-19 vaccine.

This week Pharma IQ features results from a global market report on the hesitancy of patients, from different demographics, around receiving a Covid-19 vaccine and dives into Sanofi’s new smartphone solution for at home testing.

Fifty-eight per cent of physicians globally feel confident in prescribing an approved covid-19 vaccine to patients, according to data from SHG

New data from SurveyHealthcareGlobus (SHG) showed that more than half of UK and US physicians surveyed feel confident in prescribing an approved Covid-19 vaccine by the US Food and Drug Administration and the European Medicines Agency.

Respondents of the survey were primary care physicians from countries including, the US, UK, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and Canada.

The survey forecasts that while UK physicians report the lowest levels of hesitancy from patients to receive a Covid-19 vaccine at 27 per cent, German physician’s estimate 41 per cent of their patients will be hesitant.

Conversely, 22 per cent of global physicians report that patients with co-morbidities will be the most reluctant to take a Covid-19 vaccine, with these sentiments highest in Spain at 27 per cent and Canada at 30 per cent. Other potentially hesitant demographics were reported to include the elderly and patients with pre-existing conditions or immune-compromised symptoms. 

Daniel S. Fitzgerald, CEO and president of Apollo Intelligence, a parent firm to SHG, said: “For decades global health entities have pushed to eradicate patient vaccine hesitancy for proven vaccines. Our data shows that physicians in the West are demonstrating hesitance themselves for Covid-19 vaccines in development, but the focus on the importance of education, awareness, and transparency in the vaccine development process provides will provide helpful guidance for vaccine developers and international public health leaders.”

An anonymous respondent of the survey commented: “Patient education and myth busting in media is vital. We will need to ensure there’s adequate supply from the start of the campaign, and adequate resource for practices to deliver a vaccine program en masse. We will also need to ensure real-time communication of vaccination status across the healthcare system to enable opportunistic vaccination where unvaccinated.”

Sanofi and Luminostics develop glow-in-the-dark Covid-19 test powered by a smartphone camera

Sanofi and Luminostics have joined forces to develop a self-testing solution for Covid-19, which could tell an individual in minutes if they are infected with the disease.

Using Luminostics’ technology that utilizes a consumer’s smartphone camera, artificial intelligence and “glow-in-the-dark” nanochemistry, Sanofi and Luminostics have developed a solution that eliminates the current need for lengthy administration by healthcare providers or laboratory tests.

The mobile-diagnostic platform comprises of an app that captures and processes the sample information and a reusable charger, which analyzes the user’s test sample.

During the current Covid-19 crisis, reliable mass testing is one of the key strategies for maintaining successful containment of a second wave of the virus. While point-of-care tests were made available relatively quickly in initial response to the pandemic, no over-the-counter self-testing solution is currently available.

In a statement, Sanofi claims a rapid self-testing solution would come with multiple advantages, including easy access and availability to patients at thousands of points-of-sales, no further interpersonal contact necessary to conduct the testing, thereby lowering the infection risk and immediate availability of results allowing fast decision making, providing consumers both public health and out-of-pocket cost benefits.

Alan Main, executive vice president and head of consumer healthcare at Sanofi, said: “This partnering project could lead to another important milestone in Sanofi’s fight against Covid-19. The development of a self-testing solution with Luminostics could help provide clarity to an individual – in minutes – on whether or not they are infected.”

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