Frequently Asked Questions

The Rapid Reader connituously and automatically samples air every five minutes to detect the presence of pathogens based on light scattering measurements. Once a pathogen has been detected, the unit sends an alert to designated users via e-mail or text. The visible LED status also alerts users that a pathogen has been detected and / or that a cartridge change is required. The contaminated cartridge should then be returned for validation. The RAPID reader will automatically continue monitoring the air as soon as a new cartridge is inserted.

The RAPID unit draws a small air sample every five minutes, over a long period of time (up to 2 weeks). Air is constantly disturbed / turbulent so it is an accurate method of detecting pathogens in a monitored area.

There are no external incubation steps as the analysis is ongoing while air sampling is performed.

The flow of air is stopped to ensure that no spores or pathogenic species escape into the local environment. An alert signal immediately generates an e-mail alert for designated users. Monitoring of the growth continues until the cartridge is changed to gain more detailed information of the pathogen.

Once the contamination is detected users will receive the alert immediately. Depending on the targeted pathogen, it may take 6-9 hours for a pathogen to be detected after an initial sampling of airborne pathogens.

A PDF report is provided with the e-mail alert (this is a similar format to traditional lab reports). This records the pathogen detected, the detection time and date and the location. If only the PathogenALERT service is scheduled, no further actions are taken. If Pathogen Detection and Destruction is scheduled as an integral part of the service, an array of advanced UVC germicidal lamps are energized and a BAS override will return all HVAC system setbacks to a full user-defined operational mode.

The RAPID system combines fundamental laboratory practices and methodology of pathogen detection, with specifically engineered optical measurement technology to allow for remote and rapid monitoring.

The current Rapid Reader detects and alerts to the presence of airborne pathogens, only. In this configuration, the RAPID system does not provide pathogenic density levels.

The detection system incorporates a laser system, optical lensing components, detector electronics, and digital signal processing. It is a patented optical based system licensed by PathogenALERT LLC.

A customised agar vial in the cartridge – this depends on the cartridge. i.e. aspergillus, e-coli., etc.

Up to 25 sensors can report back to a single base station, however consideration must be given to walls and other physical obstructions which can limit wireless transmission. A pre-installation survey should be carried out and wireless repeaters or additional hubs may be required.

The wireless range of the sensors from the Ethernet base station is approx. 100-150 ft., dependent on the building and the number of sensors linked to the hub. Additional sensors extend the range of the system by using a ZigBee based wireless mesh network without requiring additional hubs.

This will vary but an average 6 bed hospital ward is one example (roughly 2400 sq. ft.). We recommend additional sensors be installed in High-risk locations to provide a more accurate method to pinpoint the source and / or concentration of contamination in a building.

Each sensor is calibrated in house before shipping and does not require further calibration. Returned cartridges are also tested to verify field readings.

Yes – Note: Online software will connect to a BMS via the cloud.

Cartridge System

Yes – the RAPID Reader is currently optimized to detect specific bacteria, yeasts and molds. If there is a demand for the detection of a specific pathogen not currently covered, research can assess the efficacy of the RAPID Reader device for detecting this pathogen. Certain pathogens require very particular environmental conditions to develop and it may not be compatible, so each pathogen is investigated on a case by case basis.

The cartridge is a sealed compartment and the detection alert is sent at the first signs of pathogen growth. The air flow through the cartridge stops once detection occurs..

It is one cartridge per sensor. You can however switch between cartridge types using the same sensor.

The cartridges use selective agars to target individual types or families of pathogen. This is a well-established process for targeting individual pathogens and gives a high degree of certainty that if detected, the pathogen is present in the environment.

Essentially yes. Nutrient agars may attract the growth of other pathogens, but the optical density measurements will alert the user to growths that fall outside of the specific pathogen under examination, removing the chances of false positive results.

Each cartridge should be exchanged about 2 weeks; however, this can be longer or shorter depending on conditions such as temperature and humidity.

If stored correctly, shelf-life for unopened cartridges is generally six months to one year. PathogenALERT will automatically provide replacement cartridges on either a one month or three-month schedule.

Each cartridge will be accompanied by a ‘standard operating environment’ checklist. Installation in environments outside of this specification will likely alter the units’ ability to operate at full efficiency.

The detection software algorithms monitor for erratic behaviour, which might be caused by non-pathogenic particles such as dust, and compensates appropriately.

The cartridges are sterile and sealed, and can therefore be stored on a benchtop if unopened (out of direct light, and away from environments that have largely varying temperatures). If available, refrigeration is recommended but not essential.

Each cartridge is supplied with a Bio Waste Disposal bags and latex gloves. All spent cartridges, whether pathogens are detected or not detected, should be removed and deposited and sealed into the Bio Waste bag provided; and returned to PathogenALERT in the pre-paid shipping packaging provided for validation.

Using the Bio-waste bag and prepaid label provided, spent cartridges should returned to PathogenALERT for verification and READER validation,

No specialist training is required. Each cartridge comes with full instructions on how to safely load and return cartridges.