Valleywise Health is one of the first health care systems in Arizona to acquire a new advanced Cepheid GeneXpert testing system that can detect COVID-19 in about 45 minutes or less. This system — for Valleywise Health patients only — is now on-site at the Valleywise Health Medical Center and being prepared for service this week.

“This is an important step forward for Valleywise Health. It means we can give our patients results quickly instead of waiting hours or even days for lab results to come in,” said Dr. Michael White, Valleywise Health Chief Medical Officer. “In these critical times, access to advanced rapid testing is invaluable, and will help our caregivers to better allocate our resources to patients who need them the most.”

The test is only available to Valleywise Health patients at this time; if lab supplies become abundant, expanded testing could occur.

The rapid detection time made possible by the advanced technology allows hospital clinicians to more effectively diagnose, treat and target COVID-19 infections which can help slow the spread of the disease. Cepheid recently received emergency use authorization from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for its rapid molecular diagnostic test for the new coronavirus.

In a news release, Cepheid president Warren Kocmond said: “Our automated systems do not require users to have specialty training to perform testing. They are capable of running 24/7, with many systems already doing so today.” To date, the company has more than 23,000 automated GeneXpert Systems worldwide and approximately 5,000 GeneXpert Systems in the US that are capable of point-of-care testing and suitable for hospital use.