About the Technology Watch Database (Aka TWD)

Below is a description of each field in the database and a list of the defined attributes for each field. It is important to note that the information presented in the TWD is derived from open sources provided by the company through product literature, publications, and public websites or in publications by end users.

Device name
Devices listed include devices that are fully developed and approved for use (FDA, EUA, CE), are under development, or were under development/developed but may no longer be commercially available. Devices no longer under development remain in the database a listed as “retired”. The reason for retaining these is that one visitor to the database may be a developer looking for a solution to their respective development challenge. These solutions may be available in retired devices for licensing or by collaborative agreement.
Company name
When searching using the term ‘company’, multiple devices may be listed.
Last updated
This is the date of the last update to the database. While more current information may be available, updated information may not be publically available.
Power/energy used
This field describes the needed power requirements: state AC (requires external power to operate), Battery (batteries are disposable but can be replaced or rechargeable), both (AC and Battery) or NA (Non-accessible meaning that the unit is single use disposable with a sealed battery compartment).
This field describes the necessary requirements to perform the assay such as reagent storage conditions at a temperature other than room temperature (°C) and ambient humidity. O% RH means a desiccator is required.
This field reflects both size and weight. Highly portable: (< 10 lbs) and less than 1 cubic foot (1728 inches cubed) is hand portable; portable: (< 50 lbs) and less than 5 cubic feet is man or cart portable; little-to-no portability (> 50 lbs) is vehicle portable; not portable devices and fixed mounted devices (>50 lbs) and larger than 10 cubic feet or devices which must not be moved due to alignment issues.
Enabling Technology
An enabling technology is equipment and/or methodology that alone or in combination with associated technologies provides the means to generate leaps in performance and capabilities. A device can be both enabling and detecting. For example, a collection device that uses sample prep to extract the target of interest; or the capability to transmit results to a physician via Bluetooth.
Detecting Technology
A detecting technology is a device that can read out nucleic acid or protein based product. A device can be both detecting and enabling.
This field refers to maintenance requirements of once a year, less than once a year, or none if the test is disposable. This is not inclusive of any controls or validation that need to be run daily, monthly, annually or by lot.
This field is for future use that ranks devices for capability in different environments.
Environmental hazards
This field is designed to note any hazards generated from device operation, such as pollution, hazardous reagents and test disposal. Future additions include whether green manufacturing and disposal practices apply.
Time is separated into multiple categories of prep time, hands on time, run time and turnaround time (TAT). If a device specified a range for either of these times, we chose to keep the upper value of the range so that we can say a given device will run in the upper value of time or less. Similarly, if run time is 5 minutes or less (or <5 minutes), the database considers this device to have a run time of 5 minutes. In cases where the time reported is in seconds, the value was rounded to 1 minute.
Prep time
The amount of preparation time needed to harvest the collected sample from its matrices inclusive of washing, lysing or fractionating the sample before it is placed into a device to generate a result.
Hands on time
The amount of time needed to manually shake, stir, or change samples. This is also the amount of time that the device requires a person to be onsite to conduct a specific step. Hands on time is often a subset of Prep Time.
Run time
The amount of time from when the sample in placed in the instrument until result generation. In some cases of no sample preparation, this is the amount of time to detect.
Turnaround time
The amount of time from when the sample in acquired to when results are obtained. This field is not necessarily a sum of the times listed above. Typically, it is the sum of Prep Time and Run Time.
Device Cost
The cost of device itself and any other required components (e.g. workstation).
Assay Cost
The cost per analysis. In the case of multiplex analyses, the cost of the kit was divided by the number of tests per kit to arrive at a per assay/sample cost. When a range was specified, the upper limit of the range was used as the per assay cost. Please note that when a company elects not to provide this information because they may not have set a price as yet or do not wish to provide the information, these companies will not appear in searches based on cost.
Limit of detection
This field describes the sensitivity of the assay, usually in units such as copies/mL; VP/mL, CFU/mL or PFU/mL.
Operation Mode
This field refers to the operation of the device: Fully automated, semi-automated and manual. Fully automated means that after addition of the sample no additional user steps are needed to obtain results. Semi-automated meaning that user controlled steps are required to prepare the sample for the device or the user must operate the device to obtain the signal read out or interpret the signal. Manual meaning that the user is required prepare the sample for the test strip or device (i.e. colorimetric lateral flow) to read the results and interpret the signal.
This field refers to whether or not controls are Included in the assay or run as a batch/daily process.
Sample type
This field refers to the type of samples the device is able to analyze (Swab, stool, urine, blood...etc.)
Real time results
This field refers to the generation of results in real time, informing The user when a positive result is detected as opposed to end point detection where results are reported upon assay run completion.
This field refers to the assay target(s): multiplex vs. single-plex. Multiplex targets means that a single test analyzes several targets at once as opposed to a single target test. This entry does not indicate whether multiple targets and controls occur in the same tube, well or testing sample.
List of targets
This is a representative list of the targets that the assay can detect. Targets are added weekly or monthly in some cases upon receipt of an update from the manufacturer.
Ease of use
This field refers to the number of steps, and if special training is needed for operation. Devices ranked as easy to use or simple are indicative of low complexity tests that could be CLIA waived, and require no special training or medical staff to operate will have fewer than five steps. Medium complexity tests are indicative of non-CLIA waived devices that can be used by untrained medical professionals (i.e. clinical laboratory staff and other trained non-medical staff; and have more than five manual steps which special skills. . . High complexity tests are indicative of non-CLIA waived devices that require trained medical staff inclusive of physicians to operate the test and may require more than seven skilled manual steps.
Current status
This field refers to if the device/assay is commercially available Inclusive of FDA approval/CE mark; CLIA-waived devices, under development or in the design phase.
This field describes the device and is limited to 254 characters.
This field can include whether the system is modular, if other vendors, approval status or other information not covered by other fields, distribute the test.
This field refers to product manuals, brochures, publications and other non- proprietary information specific to the named assay.
This field refers to the size of the device with comparison to commonly available objects for reference such as USB Drive, Cell Phone, Laptop, Printer, Carry-on Luggage, Dishwasher and Bench top device or larger, Generally everything the size and weight of a laptop computer and below is hand portable (<5 lbs). Everything the size of a dishwater and above is either non portable or would require a cart to transport (>50 lbs). Items in between these sizes is considered man portable (<50 lbs).
Note: The Keyword search examines a subset of characteristics, generally only the boxes which contain narrative entries as opposed to limited entries or checkboxes.