Canadian companies join forces to test shared spaces for COVID-19


General COVID-19 Editor Pick medical Testing

New company brings together rapid-testing technology with building-design expertise

Songbird clients can generate on-demand, accurate diagnostics and receive rapid, meaningful results in 90 minutes with a simple swab kit and portable cloud-based diagnostic device. PHOTO: RWDI

GUELPH, Ont. — As North America cautiously reopens, two Guelph, Ont.-based firms have launched a COVID-19-testing and health-protection service to keep operations in shared spaces running and people safe.

Songbird Life Science combines ventilation, air flows and pathogen spread from RWDI, engineers in building science, and Purity-IQ, scientists in DNA and genomics.

With rapid on-site testing that provides results in minutes, according to the companies, Songbird Life Science is a turnkey service with capabilities to accurately identify COVID-19 on surfaces and in humans. Testing for COVID-19 in the air is in current R&D.

In emergency on-site COVID-19 incidents, Songbird supports facilities with immediate testing and containment solutions. For ongoing risk prevention and spread, Songbird consultants develop practical, preventative plans customized to the specifics of the space, according to a statement.


Many facilities have introduced measures such as physical spacing, temperature checks, deep cleaning and PPE. These are essential steps, but only DNA-based testing can accurately detect viruses even in asymptomatic carriers; conventional solutions ship test swabs to facilities where untrained staff must deploy them properly, and results can take days. Should a positive result occur, facilities are then challenged to identify the source of infection and remediate it.

The Songbird Life Science approach provides complete guidance to keeping spaces open, according to the companies. Songbird shared that it added scientifically validated technology to detect the presence of COVID-19, while its building and ventilation experts offer layout solutions and air-quality monitoring. Training enables Songbird partners to deploy, analyze and communicate results.

“Songbird is a first-of-its-kind entrant in a burgeoning category poised to play a key part in restarting the nation’s economy,” said Michael J. Soligo, RWDI president and CEO in a prepared statement. “By blending expertise in genomics and building science, Songbird brings decades of experience supporting the design and safety of nearly every facility type.”

“Restoring trust isn’t done just with a lab test,” said Deleo de Leonardis, co-founder and CEO of Purity-IQ Inc, in a statement. “Songbird gives people the ability to deploy a testing strategy, customized to the specifics of their space and industry—they gain a clear understanding of what to do and how to take action.”


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