The number of COVID-19 cases in the U.S. is beginning to skyrocket, and the demand for testing is higher than ever. It's with perfect timing, then, that Abbott Laboratories has developed a machine that can reportedly detect whether someone is positive for the virus within just five minutes. The virus detection machine is small and portable and can easily work in just about any hospital or clinic. It's already been approved by the FDA and experts are calling it a "game-changer."
This is GAME CHANGER. Abbott to market, starting next week, a fast point-of-care #coronavirus test, delivering positive results in 5min and negative results in 13min. Will deliver 50K tests/day to start. Kudos to Abbott and FDA’s Jeff Shuren and team at CDRH who are in the fight.— Scott Gottlieb, MD (@ScottGottliebMD) March 28, 2020
Thank you for all the hard work from Abbott Labs to create a portable and fast Coronavirus testing equipment. Definitely a game changer!— Rick Scott (@SenRickScott) March 29, 2020
Continuing to expand testing is the #1 way we can stay informed and fight the spread of the virus. https://t.co/cJu1UgLXTQ
The typical coronavirus test itself is not very pleasant. President Trump, who was compelled by the press to take the test a few weeks ago after coming in contact with a few foreign officials who had tested positive, admitted it's "not something he'd like to do every day."
As Bloomberg explains:
The test starts with taking a swab from the nose or the back of the throat, then mixing it with a chemical solution that breaks open the virus and releases its RNA. The mixture is inserted into an ID Now system, a small box weighing just under 7 pounds that has the technology to identify and amplify select sequences of the coronavirus genome and ignore contamination from other viruses.
Thank goodness for our creative, hard working innovators. Abbott Labs say they plan to start supplying 50,000 tests a day starting Wednesday.