A new device that tells patients if they have had coronavirus in less than 10 minutes has been developed by scientists at the University of Exeter.

The antibody device will test whether a patient has previously had the virus in as little as seven minutes.

The current antibody tests usually take 72 hours to get results back.

The new device will give laboratory standard results in just a fraction of the time.

The test device has now been give the go ahead after it was approved by the Medicines and Healthcare Regulatory Agency (MHRA).

It is hoped it will be rolled out to hospitals, pharmacies and care homes early next year.

The pocket sized test can tell a patient whether they have had normal flu or Covid-19.

It works by testing antibodies for three different types of virus.

The current antibody tests can only check for the one type of virus protein.

I’m delighted to see this exciting research progress to the next phase, towards speeding up COVID-19 testing and having significant benefits for patients and healthcare workers.

Professor Chris Hyde, Director of the Exeter Test Group

Professor Sir Robert Lechler, Senior Vice President/Provost (Health) Kings College London, said, “This technology tests for antibodies against three viral proteins.

"These differentiators will be key to beginning the next phase of COVID-19 testing urgently needed in the UK, equipping healthcare professionals initially with the data they need to better manage the epidemic."