Abbott Laboratories, a big name in pharmaceuticals has recently announced a new rapid diagnostic test for coronavirus that could take only five minutes to tell if a person is coronavirus positive or negative. This test requires only a tiny and portable kit that could be used by any doctor or healthcare facility individually.
Abbot has planned to develop and supply approximately 50,000 testing kits in a day. John Frels, the vice president of research and development (R&D), Abbott Diagnostics has shared this to be started from April 1st.
This new molecular test identifies the genome fragments of this new coronavirus, which are normally detectable when they are higher in number. He said that a complete search to evaluate the infection might take up to 13 minutes. However, this only applies to people who are infected with more days.
U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted an emergency authorization to Abbot labs for this new rapid diagnostic test for coronavirus, calling it “for use by authorized laboratories and patient care settings.”
Also Read: New Measures to Stop the Emergence of Other Coronaviruses
This rapid diagnostic kit is developed in response to the growing cases of coronavirus in the USA where New York, California, Washington, and some other areas are badly hit, leaving hundreds of people in hospitals. Initially, the tests were available to only the high-risk patients, also, the standard tests developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) showed some problems, which made U.S. regulators allow and use the diagnostic tests and kits developed by world-class pharma and commercial-testing manufacturers.
John Frels from Abbot shared that: “This is really going to provide a tremendous opportunity for front-line caregivers, those having to diagnose a lot of infections, to close the gap with our testing. A clinic will be able to turn that result around quickly, while the patient is waiting.”
This new test is only available within the USA right now, where 18,000 units from all states are using it. This test would also identify influenza, strep infection and respiratory syncytial virus and a bug-related infection that somehow shows symptoms like flu.
This test is performed after taking a sample from the nose or throat, via swab. This sample is then added to a chemically made solution which makes the viral structure free, releasing the viral RNA into the solution. This solution is then added to the ID Now system. It is a tiny box that weighs no more than 7 pounds only. It can check and detect viral genome by identifying the RNA fragments and amplify them. This procedure is completely contamination-free, so no other viruses can contaminate this diagnostic test.
This rapid diagnostic test for coronavirus is just a small setup that could be installed anywhere. However, Abbot is currently discussing it with its customers and some people from the federal administration making sure that this test is used in areas where it is needed the most.
Also read- U.S Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)’s Posted Coronavirus Symptom Checklist Online
So the chances are that this rapid diagnostic test for coronavirus would be set up in the hospital’s emergency rooms, coronavirus units, urgent care rooms, isolation units, and doctor’s rooms.
Last week, another product U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). It is an m2000 RealTime system designed and developed by Abbot and is to be used by the diagnostic centers, hospitals and certain molecular labs that do the infection testing.
This system is effective, as it can run 1 million tests per week. However, the only problem with this setup is that it takes more time to tell the results. By using both these diagnostic systems, Abbot is predicting to run 5 million diagnostic tests per month.
Like Abbot, many other companies are also working on their rapid coronavirus testing systems. The next to expect is an antibody test that could tell if a person is currently suffering or already battled with the coronavirus or not.