The entire world seems to be struggling to control the spread of the novel coronavirus. With more and more people getting infected every day, the demand for the COVID-19 test kits has become too high. Usually, after testing, it takes some time to get to know the test result. It is because the throat swabs of the infected person need to be sent to a lab first, where the samples are checked thoroughly, and the result is determined.
To ease this pain and to make testing a little simpler and faster, healthcare technology manufacturer Abbott has created a COVID-19 test kit that gives results in only 15 minutes. And what is the best part of this? There is no need for anyone to rush to any lab to conduct the test. The testing can be done on the spot, and the results are instant. This test kit has received emergency approval from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The production of this test kit is expected to start next week. Abbott plans to manufacture about 50,000 kits per day.
The test – also known as Abbott ID NOW COVID-19 test, makes use of the ABBOTT ID NOW diagnostics platform. This test is like as if a lab has been enclosed within a box. The entire size of the complete test is just about a small kitchen appliance unit. The good part about this test is that it is not too big; that is, it can be accommodated anywhere due to its compact size. Plus, it gives results pretty fast. In the case of a positive result, the outcome is seen in just 5 minutes. A negative result would be known in about 15 minutes.
Owing to its small size and the ease with which results can be obtained, this test can be used in clinics too, which means that a lot of time can be saved as there is no need to await results from the lab. With this test, in case any patient tests positive for the COVID-19 virus, the appropriate treatment can be started immediately without wasting any time.
Other than the US, many other countries have been using some rapid testing methods that have received approvals based on FDA guidelines. However, this latest test manufactured by Abbott makes use of the molecular method of testing. In this test, the saliva and the mucus swabs of the infected patient are put through to test.
The test precisely checks for the presence of DNA of the virus within the saliva and mucus samples, thereby testing whether the infection is present within samples or not. On the contrary, the other tests check for the presence of antibodies within the blood. These antibodies can be present within the blood samples of recovered patients too, who do not have the virus.
And now, another good news – ‘ID NOW,’ Abbott’s hardware platform on which the entire test has been set up, is already having the largest molecular point-of-care footprint in the US. This hardware is largely available in the offices of most of the doctors, clinics that require critical-care facilities, emergency sections, and various other medical facilities.
Abbott plans to produce about 5 million tests in April. It would include these quick test kits as well as the lab tests that received quick approvals for usage from the FDA on the 18th of March.
The US has faced multiple issues when it comes to testing of COVID-19 samples. It has become one of the major issues for the country in controlling the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. Statistically, the per capita of the tests conducted across the US is pretty less when compared to many other nations across the world. Experts feel that it is this problem due to which the country is finding it extremely difficult to track and control the spread of the virus that is ultimately causing respiratory issues in people. In fact, there have been extreme cases wherein people have waited a lot to test and acquire their results. It happened even though they were exposed to the virus and also depicted many symptoms.