New COVID-19 Test Delivers Results in 5 Minutes

The test could cut back on the days-long wait many patients currently face

New coronavirus tes
Abbott is "bringing rapid testing to the frontlines" of the pandemic.
Instagram/@abbottglobal
By Carl Caminetti / March 30, 2020 10:17 am

Over the weekend, the United States Food and Drug Administration approved a new COVID-19 test that can return positive results in just five minutes, the Verge reported.

The new test from medical device company Abbott has been hailed as “game changer” in the healthcare field’s fight against coronavirus. Using Abbott’s small, portable ID NOW platform, the test doesn’t need to be sent to a central lab for analysis and can be done directly in an emergency room, doctor’s office or clinic, meaning it could significantly cut down the days-long wait many patients currently face.

“With rapid testing on ID NOW, healthcare providers can perform molecular point-of-care testing outside the traditional four walls of a hospital in outbreak hotspots,” said Robert B. Ford, president and chief operating officer of Abbott, in a press release.

By simply taking a swab from a patient’s nose or throat and inserting it directly into the machine, healthcare providers can deliver positive test results within five minutes, and negative results in up to 13 minutes.

As the Verge noted, rapid-result tests are becoming increasingly crucial in the fight against the disease, as the results can help doctors determine how much protective wear they need to wear while caring for a patient, as well as what kind of care is necessary.

Abbott says it plans to start shipping 50,000 ID NOW COVID-19 tests a day as the United States scrambles to obtain enough tests to adequately diagnose and contain the rapidly spreading disease.

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