FRANKD & Yoti’s breakthrough COVID-19 testing system brings UK theatre back to a socially-distanced stage

profile picture Robin Tombs 3 min read

We couldn’t be more excited to see our breakthrough COVID-19 testing system get the UK’s first socially-distanced indoor theatre performance on stage at the Troubadour Wembley Park Theatre.

Sleepless, A Musical Romance, will be performing daily COVID-19 tests with FRANKD & Yoti, which delivers a result directly to an individual’s phone within 30 minutes of being tested. The FRANKD tests will be carried out and analysed on-site in the theatre without the need for a laboratory.

This fast and effective testing system will help the theatre company create a COVID-secure environment and rehearse safely before their premiere on Tuesday 1 September 2020. The spacious venue means that there will be no physical contact between the staff and audience at any time and that social distance measures can be strictly obeyed.  Audiences will be temperature checked on entering the building and will be requested to wear face masks.

What’s the FRANKD test?

The FRANKD test is a Nucleic Acid Amplification Test (NAAT), which is recommended by the WHO for testing for SARS-CoV-2. The test detects the presence of SARS-CoV-2 RNA by using samples taken from the nose or mouth with a swab stick. These samples are mixed with a patented enzyme and analysed in a portable machine with no need for a laboratory. 

This test is a low-cost alternative to polymerase chain reaction (PCR) technology, which uses heating and cooling cycles to amplify the amount of genetic material present in a sample. FRANKD uses Loop-Mediated Isothermal Amplification (LAMP) technology to allow DNA amplification without requiring these time-consuming heating and cooling cycles or the specialist equipment to create these environments.

Developed by leading biotech company GeneMe, the FRANKD test has been independently verified to deliver 100% accuracy on Covid-19 specificity / sensitivity and carries the European CE regulatory mark. Up to 90 samples can be processed in the portable analyser in under 30 minutes, making it easily scalable for mass testing across the population.

How will it work?

The cast and crew behind Sleepless will be asked to download the free Yoti app and secure their account with a phone number, PIN and security selfie. This is their biometric key that links them to their account and ensures no one can mis-assert their test result.

Once set up, they can use their Yoti app to scan the QR code on their test kit. This links them to their unique test and ensures the correct result is automatically issued to its rightful holder once the test is complete.

A mouth swab is used to take a sample which is mixed with an enzyme and analysed in a portable machine along with up to 90 samples. 

As soon as the test result is registered centrally, the information will be automatically issued to the individual’s Yoti app, equipping them with a digital health certificate on their phone,

The show will go on

We are delighted to be working closely with Sleepless to prove just how simple and effective COVID-19 testing can be and help get the theatre and live events industry back up and running. We hope to help many sectors, from healthcare to airports, factories, corporates and small businesses, who are all in need of accurate, fast, on-premise testing.

It’s been exciting to join forces with the GeneMe team and demonstrate the limitless potential of our app.

If you’d like to know more, you can find our testing guide here or you can get in touch and we’d be happy to discuss how we can help you with fast, on-premise COVID-19 testing.