Gauss, a computer vision launcher, and Cellex, a biotech company working in diagnostics, announce the first rapid COVID-19 test that can be performed fully by people at home without involving a laboratory.
Why it matters: Experts agree that the United States still needs far more widespread testing to help contain the coronavirus pandemic. An antigen test that could be performed and give results quickly at home can help reduce test delays and allow people to quickly find out if they need to isolate due to a COVID-19 infection.
How it works: In the antigen test, which was developed by Cellex, a user takes a nasal stick to both nostrils and then places the cotton swab in a small vial filled with a buffer solution.
- Four drops from the tube placed on a fast test cassette, and test lines are displayed with varying intensity, based on whether and how much virus is in the sample.
- Users then take a picture of the fast test, and Gauss̵
Note: While other rapid diagnostics have been developed that allow users to test themselves at home, these previous methods still required people to send samples to a laboratory or health facility for treatment.
- The Guass / Cellex diagnosis would be the first test that can be performed at home.
- Cellex CEO James Li says the test shows almost 90% sensitivity – how often a test generates a correct positive result – compared to PCR tests and almost 100% specificity, or how often it produces a correct negative result.
What is important for COVID-19 pandemic control is that it is a tool that enables people to monitor and isolate themselves.
– James Li
What to see: Regardless of whether the FDA gives the new test an emergency use approval, which makes it possible to enter the market faster.
- There is also the issue of price, although Li says that “our goal is to make this analysis as widely available as possible.”
Bottom line: Quick and easy home tests would definitely help reduce the spread of COVID-19, and they show how the pandemic has accelerated the arrival of distributed drugs.