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Self-Service Diagnosis of COVID-19—Ready for Prime Time?

  • 1Accolade Inc., Plymouth Meeting, Pennsylvania
  • 2Milken Institute School of Public Health, The George Washington University, Washington, DC
  • 3Brookings Institution, Washington, DC

As the world grapples with the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), experts have called for increased access to health care resources, including diagnostic testing, particularly in light of the recent expansion of the Food and Drug Administration’s Emergency Use Authority to make such testing more widely available in the United States.1 Despite rapid expansion, there are significant barriers to testing in ambulatory clinics, emergency departments, and hospitals, which are likely to see a substantial increase in demand. Such access points also pose risks due to overcrowding and nosocomial transmission.

Current policy solutions are trying to eliminate financial barriers as well as facilitate additional points of access through increased use of telemedicine. However, telemedicine itself has limitations, because patients still need to go to a health facility to have a specimen collected and sent for processing.

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    2 Comments for this article
    Support the self testing proposal
    Xiao-Tang Kong, MD, PhD | UCI
    I think the self testing service should be started ASAP.
    What is your opinion on Rapid Tests
    Frenk Bakker, Msc | Researcher
    Given the shortage in lab test capacity, I am curious about your opinions on upcoming rapid test kits for COVID-19, like eg

    Although they may be less accurate, they seem to make sense given their fast results, broad availability and low costs.