Relay & Fio to Deploy Fionet Platform Through USAID in 144 Remote Community-Based Healthcare Sites in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
TORONTO, Aug. 04, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Relay Medical Corp. (“Relay” or the “Company”) (CSE: RELA, OTC: RYMDF, Frankfurt: EIY2) and Fio Corporation (“Fio”) – together through their joint venture, Fionet Rapid Response Group (“FRR”) – is pleased to report on the previously announced sales agreement with the U.S. Government, through the U.S. Agency for International Development (“USAID”)1, to deploy FRR’s Fionet Platform (“Fionet”) to fight a malaria pandemic in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (“DRC”). USAID and FRR have identified the first 144 remote community-based health sites to receive the medical platform which combines point-of-care, connected handheld devices, and AI-powered data software services.
With a budget of nearly US$20 billion per year2, USAID is the largest aid agency in the world and accounts for more than half of all U.S. foreign assistance. USAID is responsible for a third3 of the US$3 billion spent globally on fighting the malaria pandemic. There are over 200 million cases of malaria per year. Malaria kills over 400,000 people annually, of whom two thirds are children under the age of 5. DRC has the world’s second highest number of malaria cases and deaths4.
“Our Fionet Platform is a valuable tool against many outbreaks such as malaria and COVID-19,” said Dr Michael Greenberg, CEO of FRR. “USAID has subscribed for a year of Fionet deployment in 144 clinics, representing only 2% of the 6,000 clinics that USAID supports in the DRC. USAID is assessing the platform’s contribution to accurate testing, triage, tracking, and aggregation of frontline data. Malaria respects no borders and once the Fionet Platform is deployed, operational, and producing results, we expect to deploy Fionet throughout central Africa. We are working closely with the team at USAID to upgrade data collection and aggregation and to provide actionable insights in real time – essential to effective allocation of resources and containment of the outbreak’s terrible death and disease toll.”
USAID chose FRR through a competitive process that evaluated robust alternatives and was impressed that the Fionet Platform devices showed malaria positivity rates substantially more accurately than conventional data systems suggesting a systemic breakdown in conventional data capture, which Fionet remedies. Subsequent scientific analysis has supported the accuracy of Fionet results and led to further deployment to solve the data challenge in clinics not currently equipped with the Fionet Platform. Fionet’s accuracy, data capture and distribution capability was also demonstrated in a paper published in a technical journal by U.S. Defense Threat Reduction Agency5.
The DRC is an important country in central Africa. It has a population of more than 90 million people and a landmass that is half the size of the whole European Union. It is vital for its mining industry and mineral reserves producing over 70% of the world’s supply of cobalt (essential for lithium batteries, jet and turbine engines, and medical treatments) as well as substantial supply of copper, diamond, tantalum, tin and gold. The DRC also plays an important geo-strategic role as it borders nine countries and is at the crossroads of African economic development.
Fionet Mobile Devices support frontline testing, and continuously capture and transmit comprehensive data to a centralized aggregation point. In real time, Fionet Portals allow off-site supervisors to track and direct frontline action, displaying accurate epidemiological information and providing actionable insights. A recently published medical research paper demonstrated that Fionet’s quality was comparable to expert lab technicians6.
Prior to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, Fionet was successfully used to test and track over one million patients in remote settings around the world for infectious diseases including malaria, HIV and dengue fever.
The Fionet Platform was most recently deployed for rapid COVID-19 testing in Canada’s largest international airport. Ongoing testing engagements include COVID-19 rapid testing with LifeLabs throughout Canada.
The Company announces that it has granted an aggregate of 2,500,000 options to purchase common shares of the Company at $0.25 per common share and expiring five (5) years from the date of grant, to certain officers, directors and consultants of the Company.
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USAID is the world’s premier international development agency and a catalytic actor driving development results. USAID works to help lift lives, build communities, and advance democracy. USAID’s work advances U.S. national security and economic prosperity; demonstrates American generosity; and promotes a path to recipient self-reliance and resilience.
The Fionet Platform is an end-to-end, rapid testing and tracking solution for community-based or decentralized settings. Combining a fast, handheld point-of-need device connected in real time to cloud data services, the Fionet Platform handles scheduling and registration via phone app for at home, on-site check-in and rapid on-the-spot universal antigen testing. The platform allows for data integration with other testing methods and devices, providing result notification for patient and public health authorities as appropriate, and anonymized data and statistics for dashboards for authorized stakeholders.
About Relay Medical Corp.
Relay Medical is a technology innovator headquartered in Toronto, Canada focused on the development of novel solutions in the diagnostics and AI data science and IoT security sectors.
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3 World Health Organization https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/malaria
6 BMC Infectious Diseases, 2020 https://bmcinfectdis.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12879-020-4932-0