The first complete do-it-yourself COVID-19 test has been created to help consumers diagnose themselves and take appropriate action if needed.
The test was developed by Cellex, a biotech company specializing in diagnostics, and Gauss Surgical, a computer software company. It is the first rapid test for COVID-19 that can be independently performed at home without sending samples to a laboratory for analysis, according to TeleTrader News.
The antigen test, if approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, may mitigate the problems associated with current testing delays by letting people know within minutes if they have the virus so they can self-quarantine immediately, according to Axios. The waiting period for conventional test results can exacerbate the transmission of COVID-19.
A study published in The Lancet said a delay of only three days makes it nearly impossible to slow the spread of the coronavirus. People who may be positive with COVID-19 can infect dozens of people while waiting for test results, and those who are negative often have to put their lives on hold until they get clearance to move ahead.
The Gauss/Cellex diagnostic test is simple to use. The user takes a nasal swab of both nostrils and places the swab in a cassette filled with a buffer solution. Test lines will appear and the user snaps a photo of the rapid test. Using the Gauss mobile app, he or she then sends the results for analysis which takes 15 minutes to complete, according to Axios.
The new test appears to not only be convenient, but highly accurate. Cellex CEO James Li says it has about a 90% sensitivity generating correct, positive results and nearly 100% specificity on detecting negative results, according to Axios.
“What is important for COVID-19 management is that this is a tool that will allow people to self-monitor and self-isolate,” Li said.
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