DENVER — In mid-December the Food and Drug and Administration (FDA) authorized emergency use for an at-home rapid COVID-19 test. According to the creators, Abbott Laboratories it is the first virtually guided, at-home test to be approved by the FDA.
Abbott partnered with telehealth provider eMed to administer the test.
The online eMed service determines whether a person is eligible, ships the test and gives that person access to an online portal that guides them through self-administering the test. Using the portal, the person will get their results within 15 minutes.
Right now, the test is only available for specific states and employers eMed and Abbott are working with.
Dr. Patrice Harris, the CEO of eMed, couldn't tell 9NEWS exactly which states those are are but emphasized they hope to make it available to all once inventory catches up. They currently have an online waitlist.
"The goal is to increase access to testing for everyone in this country," Harris said. "For some it may be through their employer, for others it may be through their state. Once there is increased inventory folks may be able to get the test directly."
The cost of the test is $25. As part of the testing process, eMed does report the data to state and local health authorities so they can monitor any outbreaks in the community.
Harris said they began distributing the tests on January 1, and the plan is to distribute 30 million within the first quarter of 2021 and more than 100 million within six months.
"Having the convenience of performing these tests and receiving the results all within 15 minutes and all at home certainly does increase access to testing," Harris said.
"Vaccines are promising but as you know it’ll take time to get everyone vaccinated, Harris said. "In the meantime, we have to be vigilant of the mitigation measures that work."
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