A new device by Abbott Laboratories, a US health care company, can tell if someone has been infected by the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in just five minutes.
The device which weighs less than 3kg — the size of a small toaster — can also tell if someone is negative in as little as 13 minutes.
With three units of this device, Nigeria can run more tests in one day than it had run in four weeks.
Abbott announced on Saturday that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for the fastest available molecular point-of-care test for the detection of novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
According to the company, the test will run “on the company’s ID NOW™ platform, providing rapid results in a wide range of healthcare settings such as physicians’ offices, urgent care clinics and hospital emergency departments”.
The ID NOW is already the most widely available molecular point-of-care testing platform in the U.S. today.
“The COVID-19 pandemic will be fought on multiple fronts, and a portable molecular test that offers results in minutes adds to the broad range of diagnostic solutions needed to combat this virus,” said Robert Ford, president and chief operating officer, Abbott.
“With rapid testing on ID NOW, healthcare providers can perform molecular point-of-care testing outside the traditional four walls of a hospital in outbreak hotspots.”
Abbott will be making ID NOW COVID-19 tests available next week to healthcare providers in urgent care settings in the US.
The company is working with the Administration to deploy tests to areas where they can have the greatest impact.
The arrival of the Abbott ID NOW COVID-19 test comes a week after the company launched its Abbott m2000™ RealTime SARS-CoV-2 EUA test, which runs from hospitals and reference labs around the world.
Between the two platforms, Abbott expects to produce about five million tests per month.