A pair of medical companies have partnered to launch a new point-of-care blood test that can detect if you have been exposed to COVID-19 — and it can do it in about 15 minutes.
Developed and manufactured by BioMedomics with the help of medical device manufacturer BD, the new test can detect antibodies in blood to confirm current or past exposure to the coronavirus.
The test has four simple steps. You prick your finger, drop it on the device, add a few drops of solution, and read the results in about 15 minutes. Works like a pregnancy test — equally high stakes — but swaps a body fluid. Single line on the test, good; multiple lines, bad.
The new test will be available through BD and distributed exclusively by Henry Schein to health care providers in the U.S.
The simple test detects antibodies in the blood that are produced in response to the infection. The antibodies are typically present in the mid-to-later states of the infection, but it can help tell people whether or not they were exposed — and it solves one of the biggest problems: carriers who didn't exhibit any symptoms.
According to Frank Wang, CEO of BioMedomics, the test has been clinically validated at several hospitals and clinical laboratories in both the U.S. and China.
The FDA recommends that results from antibody testing should not be used as the sole basis to diagnose or exclude coronavirus infection. And while the test has not been reviewed by the FDA, it is permitted for distribution and use under the public health emergency guidance issued by the FDA on March 16. BD plans to begin shipping tests this month, and will have capacity to supply more than 1 million tests over the next few months — with the ability to scale up based on market demand.