Abbot Develops $5 Covid-19 Rapid Test Kid, Plans to Distribute By September
The pharmaceutical company, Abbot Laboratories announced on Wednesday, that they have developed a cheap, and effective rapid test kit for COVID-19 patients.
The company touted that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had finally approved the Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) of the new test kit to detect COVID-19 patients. The kit can be used to implement faster and wider testing, as it will only cost $5 dollars, and will be the size of a credit card. Abbot explained that healthcare providers would not need any additional medical equipment to get the results they need.
Abbott wrote that the new kit, called “BinaxNow” can provide results for as fast as 15 minutes, with a sensitivity of 97.1% (positive percent agreement) and specificity of 98.5% (negative percent agreement) to the antigen. The pharmaceutical company continued, “the device will be an important tool to manage risk by quickly identifying infectious people so they don’t spread the disease to others.”
It claimed that the test can be administered in authorized laboratories and inpatient care settings. The kit will also be accompanied by a mobile app that would help organizations to manage and know patients’ results. Abbott added that they will be releasing NAVICA ™ which can be installed on iPhone and Android devices. The pharmaceutical company described it as the “first-of-its-kind” mobile app. They explained that the app will be free of charge and will allow people who tested negative from the coronavirus to display their digital health pass. It will then be renewed each time they get tested through their healthcare providers. The company believed that the mass testing and monitoring of COVID-19 results, as well as strict social distancing guidelines and health precautions such as handwashing, and mask-wearing can decrease the number of coronavirus cases.
Health experts celebrated the company’s new technology. Ph.D., professor and chairman, Molecular Virology and Microbiology, Baylor College of Medicine, Joseph Petrosino believed that the test will help millions of Americans gain access to cheap and reliable coronavirus testing. Petrosino also noted that this is specifically helpful as Americans do not have to wait for an extended period of time to get the results, and immediately put patients who tested positive into quarantine facilities.
Moreover, the company is also preparing to ship a total of 10 million tests to the country by September and that they might be able to provide an estimated 50 million tests by the beginning of October.
Currently, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention has yet to approve antibody testing for COVID19. In a statement, the CDC claimed that they do not recommend the use of antigen testing to diagnose COVID-19 patients. The health organization clarified that it can only be used to diagnose with viral detention tests to support the clinical assessment of COVID-19 positive patients. The CDC also claimed that it can also determine post-infection syndrome caused by COVID-19 such as Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children; or MISC-C.
President Donald Trump also boasted that a coronavirus vaccine might be available by September and had worked alongside another pharmaceutical company, Moderna to provide 100 doses of coronavirus vaccine.