Rhinomed (ASX:RNO) says a new study shows that children are reluctant to use a traditional nasal swab for testing and that a new Melbourne-designed alternative is the preferred method of sample collection.
The reluctance to test children for COVID-19 has been partly due to the fear, anxiety and discomfort associated with the traditionally combined throat and nose swabs.
Rhinomed says its 'Rhinoswab Junior' is a better alternative because it has been specifically designed for children. It said the 'Less invasive SARS-CoV-2 testing for children: A comparison of saliva and a novel Anterior Nasal Swab' study, which has been submitted for publication, compared the current combined nose and throat swabs and saliva collection to the Rhinoswab Junior.
The company said the study demonstrated that the Rhinoswab Junior is the best method for collecting samples from children when considering comfort, consistency, accuracy and efficacy.
A Hospital National Child Health Poll identified that 74 per cent of parents were reluctant to bring their children in for COVID-19 testing because of the potential trauma and pain of sampling, with up to 30 per cent unlikely to test their children at all.
According to Rhinomed, the study from researchers at Murdoch Children’s Research Institute confirmed that the Rhinoswab Junior provides a comfortable alternative that addresses these concerns. It said the Rhinoswab Junior is the preferred method of sample collection for respiratory diseases for children whether for PCR or RAT testing. In the study, Rhinoswab was preferred by 88 per cent of children when compared with the combined nose and throat swab.
Rhinoswab Junior’s design means children can collect their own samples, and parents and carers are more likely to ensure children are tested.
Rhinomed CEO Michael Johnson said, “With SARS-CoV-2 variants and seasonal respiratory viruses continuing to evolve, we need more accurate and comfortable sample collection to encourage people – especially children – to keep getting tested.
"Rhinomed is proud to have developed a swab that not only works better, but removes anxiety and distress − not just for kids, but for their parents and health care workers. Even adults prefer Rhinoswabs.
"We are grateful to have the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute’s rigorous research further demonstrate the benefits of Rhinoswab Junior.”