In the situation that has been brought in by the COVID-19 pandemic, testing has played a crucial role in almost all countries to monitor and control the spread eventually. Testing methods were slower and less in the earlier months, but quicker testing methods have now come into the market to make the process much easier.
A COVID-19 test that can detect if the patient is infected or not in 15 minutes has recently received the Food and Drug Administration’s approval. There is no need for any lab equipment to conduct the test successfully and costs only $5.
The test developed by the health care company Abbott has been developed on the same lines as to how a pregnancy test would work. It has been named BinaxNOW and runs on a simple card, currently authorized for only emergency use.
With the test, an app is also being launched by the same company producing the test. This app will sync up with the test taken, and anyone who has a negative, as a result, will be able to get a digital pass. Entry into many spaces is being validated these days based on a negative COVID test, so this is a very thoughtful step on behalf of Abbott.
CEO Robert Ford spoke on the development of the test, and he mentioned that with the test and the app, the idea is to form a comprehensive solution that could make testing quicker and easier for people. It is also the company’s aim to produce almost 50 million tests per month so that the testing rate speeds up. The production will begin soon, and the target will be achieved by October.
Jeff Shuren, director of the FDA Center for Devices and Radiological Health, was asked about the new test and his statement was, “Due to its simpler design and the large number of tests the company anticipates making in the coming months, this new antigen test is an important advancement in our fight against the pandemic.”
BinaxNOW is a step in the right direction, as believed by many. Abbott’s authorization also includes the test being used in emergency rooms, schools, and even doctors’ offices. The reason is its simple procedure. The nasal sample taken through the swab is directly put onto the card, showing a red line if the person is COVID-19 positive.
How the BinaxNOW works is quite different from detecting the protein present on the surface of the virus instead of testing the genetic makeup of the virus. That is what makes the test much quicker but also less accurate, as it is known. Many researchers still say that less accurate is better than no testing at all, which would help get some control over the pandemic.
Despite all claims on the test’s inaccuracy, Abbott has claimed that the test they have developed can detect the infection 97.1 percent of the time. A negative result, when shown, is correct 98.5 percent of the time.
BinaxNOW is comparatively quicker than regular testing, where the test has to be sent to the lab for analysis. Many have had to wait for almost a week to receive their results, and that has done a lot of damage already. The number of infectious people on the roads can be reduced with a quick testing method like this.
Image Source: TheVerge