There's a brand new COVID-19 test from healthcare technology maker Abbott that can tell if someone is infected in as little as five minutes. This U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved kit is so small and portable it can be used in almost any healthcare setting.
The new Abbott ID NOW COVID-19 test makes use of the Abbott ID NOW diagnostics platform. The kit is roughly the dimensions of a small kitchen appliance.
Its size can be a beneficial way to extend coronavirus testing kit beyond its contemporary availability to more places, including clinics and doctor's offices, and cut down on wait times both in terms of having examined and receiving a diagnosis.
Abbott's kit to help frontline workers fight COVID-19
Abbott Chief Operating Officer Robert Ford said the portable molecular test "adds to the broad range of diagnostic solutions needed" to combat this virus.
John Frels, vice president of research and development at Abbott Diagnostics, told Bloomberg medical-device maker to supply 50,000 tests a day starting Apr. 1.
The molecular test looks for fragments of the coronavirus genome, which can be detected in as little as five minutes when the strain present at high levels. A thorough search to definitively rule out an infection can soak up to 13 minutes, Frels added.
According to Frels, the new kit will provide a "tremendous opportunity" for frontline workers to close the gap with our testing. He said clinics would be able to turn that result around quickly, while the patient is waiting."
The testing kit from Abbott, according to TechCrunch, already "holds the largest molecular point-of-care footprint in the country." The report added ID Now is "broadly available" throughout doctor's offices, pressing care clinics, emergency rooms, and other medical facilities.
Abbott, other companies to help FDA with testing
This is the second one Abbott test for the coronavirus to be launched. Between the two, CNBC said the company expects to provide about five million tests in a month.
In a statement, Abbott said the Food and Drug Administration issued emergency use authorization for the point-of-care test on Friday. The healthcare company, according to TechCrunch, says the tests can help split new rapid tests and the lab exams it received from FDA's emergency use authorization.
The United States has struggled to supply enough tests to locate the coronavirus, at the same time as the outbreak threatens to overwhelm hospitals in New York, California, Washington, and other states.
Regulators in the country have rushed out diagnostics made by the world's leading commercial testing companies after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention encountered problems with its testing kits.
Other agencies also are rolling out faster-testing systems. Bloomberg said Henry Schein Incorporated's point-of-care antibody test, which looks for evidence that a person's immune device has already fought off the infection, was available.
There are more than 591,802 cases of the coronavirus, with at the least 26,996 deaths worldwide, Johns Hopkins University said. The university added there are at least 101,657 cases of the coronavirus, with more than 1,500 deaths in the U.S.