NHS Digital has penned a deal with Scandit which will see the digitisation of the Covid-testing process.

The deal means NHS organisations will have access to Scandit’s technology to support Covid-related services such as test-tracking, PPE tracking and patient care until 30 November 2021.

As demand for testing increased a solution was needed to ensure a safe and contactless way for healthcare professionals, the military or agency staff and trained volunteers to reliably and safely identify individuals on arrival, and track their samples as they move through the testing process.

For Covid-testing, Scandit’s technology will be used at all fixed and mobile test sites, for home-testing kits and at schools. Staff members at test sites will be able to use a smartphone to scan a barcode on a booking form to identify a patient from a safe distance.

Each sample vial has a barcode attached to it, and staff can give this a quick scan to ensure the test sample matches the booking ID.

Samuel Mueller, chief executive at Scandit, said: “We have been helping NHS Digital digitise their nationwide testing process since the start of the pandemic. We’re delighted our technology will continue to support the healthcare service as demand for testing services continues to increase.

“Our technology ensures that tests can be tracked quickly and easily. It also integrates easily with smartphones, meaning that the NHS has been able to scale the number of testing sites and make it easy to deploy home-testing effectively. There is no acceptable margin of error. Our clinical-quality barcode scanning technology delivers a highly accurate read rate whether the scan is happening through a car window at a drive-in mobile test site or by someone who is self-testing at home.”

Mueller added that the company had taken steps to integrate the technology “seamlessly” with NHS IT systems.

Scandit provides a technology platform for mobile computer vision and augmented reality (AR) solutions for enterprises. The technology is used in retail, transport and logistics and manufacturing to power mobile apps for uses such as mobile shopping, self-checkout, inventory management, proof of delivery, and asset tracking. Use cases in healthcare include tracking patients, medication, specimens and supplies.