This morning BioIQ, a health-testing and biometric-screening technology company, released its at-home COVID-19, Flu A/Flu B, and 21 Test Respiratory Panel saliva test.
The company partnered with P23 labs, which already scored an emergency use authorization (EUA) from the FDA for its at-home saliva COVID-19 test kits.
Currently, the test is being targeted towards employees, health plan members, and individuals. The cost of testing varies depending on what specifically is being tested for.
The kit includes a saliva collection tool, along with telehealth guidance from a clinician. BioIQ’s platform also has symptoms and exposure assessments, contact tracing and tips for follow-up care.
After collecting a sample, users send their collection to P23 Labs and results are delivered back within 24 to 48 hours.
WHY IT MATTERS
At-home sample collections are an important advancement during the pandemic, according to FDA Commissioner Dr. Stephen M. Hahn. He said in a statement that they provide “an additional option for the easy, safe and convenient collection of samples required for testing without traveling to a doctor’s office, hospital or testing site.”
This new test allows patients to get tested for COVID-19, along with a range of other infections, with one saliva sample.
It tests patients for adenovirus, coronaviruses, rhinovirus, influenza A, influenza B, parainfluenzas, pneumonias and more.
"Because consumers and employers are bracing for one of the most challenging flu seasons in history, P23 Labs thought it critical to have a solution supporting this unique circumstance, keeping the country and the economy moving forward," Dr. Bernadette M. Mandes Wildemore, chief medical officer of P23 Labs said in a statement.
In addition to diagnosing, the test includes a telehealth platform that connects patients with clinicians that can offer an interpretation of the test results as well as a treatment plan. The platform also offers symptom and exposure checking, contact tracing, and notification tools for companies whose employees have returned to the workplace or are in the process of returning to the workplace.
THE LARGER TREND
In the wake of COVID-19, the FDA has authorized numerous EUA’s to allow people to test themselves at home.
LabCorp snagged the first at-home authorization for its COVID-19 RT-PCR test back in April. Since then, Rutgers Clinical Genomics Laboratory, EverlyWell and others also got the go-ahead from the FDA to roll out their tests.
This test from BioIQ comes out as some experts warn about the possibility of a second wave of COVID-19 occurring at the same time as this year’s flu season. CDC Director Robert Redfield said that having both viruses attacking the public at the same time could be even more severe than the first round of COVID-19 in an interview with The Washington Post.
ON THE RECORD
"In the first phase of this battle against COVID-19, laboratories responded with testing but often this testing did not get to the people and businesses who needed it most. It lacked a delivery model and technology platform,” Justin Bellante, CEO of BioIQ said in a statement. “BioIQ is committed to helping the nation add testing capacity for the challenge, and not repeat shortcomings of the past, by adding innovative testing and tools such as telehealth, contact tracing and communication/notifications, in concert with a technology platform that enables delivery at scale and provides the access and convenience for consumers in a second-wave scenario."