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Hungarian Startup Makes COVID Drive-thru Testing Software Open Source

Hungarian startup Rollet has made the software it developed for administering in-car coronavirus testing freely available for any government or organization to help speed up response on a possible next wave.

As previously reported in the Budapest Business Journal (see “Drive-thru COVID-19 Testing at Groupama Arean” in the May 22 issue), the startup’s drive-thru testing station was first launched in Budapest in April, with what the company says were “hundreds of visitors” tested over the course of a few days.  

The drive-through COVID-19 testing method is not a novel concept, and was widely used in several Asian countries before the Hungarian solution. But these approaches were paper-based, Rollet says, which was slow and put people at a relatively high risk when contact was made between staff and patients in the process.

The contactless solution developed by the startup means that patients arrive at the test station at a confirmed time after online pre-registration.

Data recording is paperless, as test station workers identify clients based on QR codes, and authorize visitors through the mobile application, which Rollet has now made open source.

As well as the entry check, sampling administration takes place in the app too, pairing the given patient’s QR code with the samples. This contactless method eliminates the chance of wrong inputs and human errors under stress.

“We agreed with the Rollet team at the very beginning of the project to make the end product widely available so that governments worldwide can respond immediately and appropriately to the crisis when needed,” says Andy Zhang, founder and CEO of Rollet.

Highly Efficient

“Being a Hungarian company, the size and population of our cities needed a highly efficient solution for mass testing, which forced us to create a technology solution that was simply not available before. There is still no consensus on whether the coronavirus will cause another wave of pandemics in the fall, but in any case, our system offers a very fast and effective solution for identifying COVID-19 patients,” he explains.

The testing project, codenamed “NOÉ”, can now be freely adapted by both private companies and government organizations, as it has been released under a so-called MIT licence (a Massachusetts Institute of Technology License that grants the end user rights such as copying, modifying, merging, distributing, etc.) and is available at Github.com/rollethu/noe.

According to the startup, the code can be used to help start a drive-thru test station within a few days, as the program is suitable for receiving and sampling thousands of guests without additional development.

The software can not only be used for coronavirus testing, but also for the rapid sampling of all viruses where a vehicle provides a suitable containment environment for sampling and screening.

Rollet launched contactless drive-through payment services in Hungary in 2017, and since then, says cashless, in-car payment methods have been made available to motorists in dozens of locations, including parking lots, office buildings, industrial areas, and business parks.

In 2020, The Next Web chose Rollet as one of the best Hungarian startup innovations in Europe, and last year the audience of the Vienna Property Forum chose Rollet as “CEE’s Best Emerging Startup”.