A significant step in the global campaign to detect and defeat COVID-19 was made with the approval of two at-home tests.
The U.S. is still experiencing rapid growth of COVID-19 cases, but controlling the spread is difficult because many infected patients show no symptoms. Testing is the best way to know, but availability is limited and it can take days to get the results back. The FDA has issued Emergency Use Authorizations for not one but two new COVID tests that consumers can do on their own in their own home. The test kits cost $25 to $30 and both use a smartphone as part of the process to return results in just 15 to 20 minutes. One from Abbott requires a prescription and the results get reported to public health officials. The other is from Ellume Health and the kit includes a Bluetooth-connected analysis device that provides the results. The two companies expect to ship more than 140 million tests in the first half of 2021.