Lateral flow rapid tests: The importance of using them for diagnostics

Business modelling

The specific business objective and principles of the business model must be clear in advance. This makes clear what information needs to be distributed among the different business channels. A complete business analysis is performed to find vital information flows about the customer and how the information flow can be processed successfully.

Data modelling

All information that has been collected from the business model is assessed and analysed so that it will be of benefit to the customer. The characteristics of all the data are identified and defined. The relationship between these data is recorded and identified and described in detail so that it will become relevant to the business model.

Process modelling

The object- data sets defined in the data model are converted into the business information flow which is necessary to achieve specific business objectives that are in accordance with the business model. In this business model changes and improvements are implemented immediately. Also new process descriptions are added, unusable descriptions are removed or altered.


The current software system has now been fully built and can be applied by means of coding and automation tools with which process and data models can be transformed into actual prototypes.


Rapid Application Development is a concept that enables organizations to develop high-quality software systems more quickly. The important advantages to working with Rapid Application Development are:

Diagnostic scenarios where lateral flow rapid tests can be applied

  • In-the-field pre-screening prior to more time-consuming laboratory analysis
  • Routine testing or rapid diagnosis in a doctors’ or veterinary surgery
  • The confirmation of the presence or absence of a target in remote areas or in agricultural scenarios
  • Data analysis, by clinicians or veterinarians, for the diagnosis and on-going management of a disease
  • Confirmation of concentration levels to assess disease status in high-value crops
  • Quantification of contaminant levels in food and feed

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For more information about why lateral flow rapid tests are important please speak to a member of our team on[email protected] or 44 (0) 1904 406 080.

Efficient diagnosis

Although lateral flow rapid tests are simple to use, the science behind these assays is complex. Assay development follows a stage-by-stage process of feasibility, optimisation, before moving to technical transfer and manufacturing.

screenshot of a automated lateral flow manufacturing videoIt takes many years of experience and knowledge as well as the use of efficient lateral flow manufacturing equipment to produce an optimised, robust, rapid test strip suitable for market use.

During assay development, scientists will select the most appropriate raw materials (reagents, membranes, labels and antibodies) and optimise the test depending on sample type and market requirements.

In addition, the biomarker of interest may be better suited to a particular assay format or label. We explain the pros and cons of each assay type in our article, ‘Lateral flow immunoassay formats’.

Integrated system

Rapid Application Development is not about dependent phases but about simultaneous modular developments and introductions that allow a faster and better integration of the software system. The entire development process has already been integrated into the planning, and, where necessary, it can be supplemented, altered or refined.

Rapid Application Development makes use of prototypes that serve as a working model that form an immediate part of the end product. Rapid Application Development does use a detailed pre-planning phase, which makes it easier to incorporate changes in the development process.

It’s your turn

What do you think? Is the Rapid Application Development applicable in today’s modern IT environment businesses? Do you recognize the practical explanation or do you have more additions? What are your success factors regarding the Rapid Application Development approach?

Share your experience and knowledge in the comments box below.

Phases of the model design

The Rapid Application Development model divides the analysis, design, construction and the testing phases of the software development into a short series, which is developed in a cycle.

It consists of the following phases:

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What is rapid application development (rad)?

Rapid Application Development (RAD) is a software development approach that uses minimal planning. In the 1980s RAD was developed by computer giant IBM. Unlike the so-called Waterfall method, RAD enables organizations to develop software faster. The Waterfall method is based on phases that follow one another and merge into one another in the software development process as if they were a waterfall.

First there is the definition & analysis phase, then the system design phase followed by technical & detailed design, the architecture of the software, which leads to the testing phase, the integration of the software and it ends with maintenance and support.

Rapid Application Development (RAD) is a solution for non-flexible processes such as the Waterfall method. Building software applications in this ‘old-fashioned’ way, often took a long time, in which sometimes the requirements had already been changed before the entire system was developed and delivered. This sometimes resulted in unworkable applications.

Why are lateral flow rapid tests important?

According to MarketsandMarkets (August 2021), the global lateral flow assay market is projected to reach USD 8.24 Billion by 2022, up from USD 5.14 Billion in 2021, growing at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 8.2%. The market drivers derive from an ageing population, greater incidences of disease, increased use of home-based tests, a desire for rapid testing across multiple sectors and a focus on decentralised testing.

However, following the COVID-19 pandemic the public’s knowledge and awareness of rapid testing has increased demand, meaning the lateral flow diagnostics market is likely to exceed previous growth predictions.

Building on decades of research we have better insight into the causative agents of human, animal and plant disease, and the impact of substances on the environment and health. The ability to identify the biomarkers linked to these disease or environmental conditions means we can predict, monitor or diagnose more effectively and put in place treatments or preventative measures.

As this knowledge is shared between organisations and the public there is an increasing interest in early stage detection, on-going monitoring, and for real-time results. This is where a lateral flow rapid test comes into its own by offering a flexible, cost-effective and time-saving solution.

Lateral flow tests incorporate quick, easy-to-use protocols and can be used with minimal training. Because of their ease of use and portability, lateral flow tests are used in multiple industries and testing scenarios from the home or in-field, to emergency rooms and ambulances.

An example of the importance of rapid tests is demonstrated by UNICEF’s increased procurement of malaria rapid diagnostic tests (mRDTs). In 2008 UNICEF bought 3.8 million tests with this figure increasing to approximately 13 million in 2021: this figure is growing.

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