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Rover Diagnostics is developing a low-cost, simple-to-use, ultrafast point-of-care test for COVID-19 and other infectious diseases.


Widely used since the 1980s in both clinical and research settings, PCR has been the gold standard for molecular diagnostic testing. However, traditional PCR, which requires up to 90 minutes of processing time and trained technicians to operate equipment, has meant that practical clinical use of the technology has mostly been limited to large, centralized labs. This can prolong delivery of results from most labs to 2-4 days.


The Rover Lightspeed testing platform provides a number of key advantages over traditional PCR. It's much faster, more portable (about two pounds and smaller than a kitchen toaster), and doesn’t require a lab or trained technician. Therefore, it can be operated almost anywhere: in a doctor’s office or nursing home, at home or work, in a college dorm, at an airport, or even in a restaurant or theatre lobby. Rover’s system meets today’s urgent need for a cost-effective, highly sensitive, mass-produced field test kit.


We've named our device Rover Lightspeed, because it implements revolutionary light-based plasmonic heating technology. Capable of performing extraction-free Reverse Transcriptase PCR tests in under 20 minutes, our real-time PCR device uses gold nanorod based plasmonic heating to achieve quick thermocycling. It also contains multichannel spectral detection to improve specificity and allow the possibility of detecting multiple infectious diseases simultanously. Designed as an IoT device, it can report results directly to patients and healthcare providers once a test is concluded, without requiring any user interaction.

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