A new at home spit test could potentially turn around Covid-19 test results within 30 minutes.
Currently, Americans who want to be tested for COVID-19 are subjected to a painfully invasive nasopharyngeal swab shoved into the back of their throat.
Columbia University and biopharmaceutical company Sorrento announced a new COVID-19 rapid test kit that can be conducted at home with test results within 30 minutes.
The COVID-19 saliva diagnostic test works like a pregnancy test - but using saliva instead of urine.
The kit, called COVI-TRACE, has already passed initial non-peer reviewed clinical studies, according to medRxiv.com.
Doctors at Columbia University's Medical Center will escalate clinical trials within weeks, and if the results are positive, will apply for an emergency use authorization from the Food & Drug Administration (FDA).
If approved by the FDA, the test kits will be fast-tracked at "rapid, full-scale production" to bring the tests to market quickly. The tests will retail for around $10 per kit.
The COVI-TRACE saliva test kits could be a game changer. People who test positive at home would get follow-up testing at a clinic or hospital, and possible treatment if they have symptoms.
COVI-TRACE saliva kits would save time and money spent testing millions of healthy people who aren't sick.
Many Americans still do not have access to COVID-19 testing and those who have been tested complain about the long wait times for results.