Health Canada has approved the Granville Swab, a new product created by St. John’s-based Granville Biomedical.
During the pandemic, company Co-Founder and registered nurse Crystal Northcott has been swabbing people for the COVID-19 virus in Newfoundland and Labrador, and it’s intended that the new swab will be used in COVID-19 testing.
“As a medical professional witnessing the COVID-19 pandemic up close, there is an indescribable urge to contribute to the response,” Northcott said in a statement.
“A 100 percent Canadian swab that optimizes specimen collection and prioritizes patient comfort is our contribution, both as a company and as individuals.”
The new nasopharyngeal swab is designed to be more comfortable for the patient, and is manufactured and sterilized in Canada.
“It is deemed by Health Canada to be as effective as leading swabs on the market,” said Christine Goudie, Co-Founder, CEO and biomedical designer.
“It is comprised of a single biocompatible, medical grade material and sterilized by electron-beam sterilization, which eliminates the risk of chemical residue after the swab is sterilized,” she added.
The new swab has a novel, smooth hollow tip that ensures sufficient sample collection. Paired with a thin, flexible handle and scored break point, the Granville Swab is also easy to use.
Granville is one of the few Canadian swab companies using injection mold manufacturing as opposed to 3D printing, the company said, and it has the capacity to produce upwards of two million swabs per month.
The venture began in 2019 as a women’s healthtech company specializing in the design of anatomical models to enhance healthcare training and advance patient education.
The company began by 3D printing vaginal simulation products to allow healthcare workers to learn about injuries caused by childbirth, disease and genital mutilation.
They aimed to offer a modern, cost-effective solution for teaching hospitals and institutions in place of either expensive silicone and plastic models or cheap items such as pigs’ anuses, cow tongues and car-washing sponges.
“There’s a lack of innovation in the area of women’s health and there has been for years,” Goudie told Entrevestor in an earlier interview. “We aim to produce simulation models at an economical price and get them into the hands of every student.”
Goudie said the founders are proud of the progress they have made since 2019.
“There is definitely an element of pride in demonstrating that woman can excel in product research, design and manufacturing,” she said.
“We have an outstanding team of researchers, designers, and engineers. Women have so much to offer the technology sector in Canada and we hope to inspire more diverse founders to seize future opportunities in tech.”