The Univeristy of Melbourne The Royal Melbourne Hopspital

A joint venture between The University of Melbourne and The Royal Melbourne Hospital


08 Sep 2021

Lab Van enables rapid diagnostic testing in outbreak hotspots

Funding: Victorian Department of Health

Australia's first NATA accredited mobile testing unit, the Doherty Institute’s Lab Van, has been deployed to help manage the latest COVID-19 outbreaks in Metropolitan Melbourne and regional Victoria.

The fully compliant PC2 laboratory van was conceptualised, designed and implemented by the Microbiological Diagnostic Unit Public Health Laboratory (MDU PHL) at the Doherty Institute, as part of Victoria’s Innovative Testing Strategy, a collaboration between the Department of Health, MDU PHL and Victorian Infectious Diseases Reference Laboratory (VIDRL).

Operating as a mobile testing unit, the Lab Van enables rapid diagnostic results by reducing the logistical issues of communities having to travel to be tested, as well as cutting down the time usually taken for samples to be sent to the nearest diagnostic laboratory for results. The rapid tests see results produced within an hour and a half.

Lab Van was previously deployed to Philip Island, Bacchus Marsh, the Lacrosse apartment building in the Docklands, and more recently, to Shepparton as part of the COVID-19 public health response in Victoria.

Watch the video below to find out more about the laboratory fit out and how the Lab Van was utilised recently in Philip Island to deliver rapid test results.