ART kit vending machine near Ng Teng Fong General Hospital displays incorrect test result image

Can you spot the errors?

Zi Shan Kow | September 18, 2021, 07:20 PM

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[Editor's note on Sep. 20, 11:30am: The article has been updated with the statement from Biomedia, Ng Teng Fong General Hospital's vendor.]

On Sep. 15, a vending machine dispensing Covid-19 tests outside Ng Teng Fong General Hospital was seen with incorrect information displayed on it.

Incorrect images

The vending machine outside Ng Teng Fong General Hospital dispenses Biomedia SPD Scientific Covid-19 home test kits.

Mothership contributor, Thomas Ho, spotted the machine.

H0 was visiting his father-in-law at the hospital ward, when he took the photos at around 3pm on Sep. 15.

On the side of the machine is a display that provides step-by-step instructions on how to use the kit, alongside reference images about how to read the test result.

Ho said he was a little confused when he saw the image, wondering if he's seeing things wrongly.

Image by a Mothership contributor.

A closer look at the images indicating the five possibilities for a Covid-19 ART result quickly reveals a problem.

The same images are repeated, and there are only really two different images - both of which seem to indicate a positive result with coloured bands on the control and test lines.

Image by a Mothership contributor.

For reference, this is how one should interpret the test results instead, with a negative result only showing one coloured band, along the C-line.

Invalid results will also show either one coloured band along the T-line, or no bands at all:

Screenshot from Biomedia.

Ho said he did not see a service number on the machine to report the error.

Reprinted and replaced sticker

In response to Mothership's queries, a spokesperson from Biomedia, parent company of SPD Scientific and the vendor engaged by Ng Teng Fong General Hospital said:

"The mistake was spotted in the late afternoon of Sep. 17 and we had immediately reprinted and replaced the sticker on the vending machine on the morning of Sep. 18.

We should have marked out the error prior to the change - our sincere apologies for the inconvenience caused and we will make better corrective actions decisions in the future."

Vending machines for Covid-19 tests

The Ministry of Health (MOH) announced on Sep. 17 that a hundred vending machines that distribute Antigen Rapid Test (ART) kits will be deployed today (Sep. 18).

Individuals who receive an SMS notification from the MOH can collect the kits to perform self-testing from these vending machines.

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Top images by a Mothership contributor.