The Food and Drug Administration on Friday approved a novel coronavirus test for emergency use that can reportedly provide diagnostic results in less than 15 minutes, a major improvement from most tests, many of which take days.
The test is produced by Abbot Laboratories, which plans to begin delivering 50,000 per day starting April 1 to places they are most needed like emergency rooms, urgent-care clinics, and doctors' office. The testing equipment is small and portable, and can reportedly be used just about anywhere.
Abbot also received approval on another testing system earlier in the week that takes longer to deliver results, but can churn out more tests on a daily basis. Between the two systems, the company hopes to eventually provide 5 million per month.
Several other companies are working to get out faster testing systems, as well, which will allow doctors to determine treatments for patients more quickly and help relieve the pandemic's mounting pressure on the United States health care system. Bloomberg also reports that Henry Schein, Inc., has a point-of-care antibody test ready to go. That test won't be able to detect a current infection, but could prove valuable in determining the pandemic's full scope by revealing whether a person's immune system already fought off the coronavirus, which diagnostic tests aren't able to do. Read more at CNN and Bloomberg.
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