First Smartphone-Enabled COVID-19 Rapid Antigen Test Awaits FDA Approval

Accurate and rapid COVID-19 testing has become a critical hallmark in the battle against the pandemic. Unfortunately, getting tested on a mainstream level currently requires a trip to a clinic or government instituted site.

However, in a possible breakthrough of what it means to get tested, Kroger Health today announced it's planning to obtain FDA approval for the first smartphone-enabled COVID-19 rapid antigen test.

wsj 5
According to a press release, patients will administer a nasal swab themselves and complete a rapid antigen test. Then, patients will scan the rapid test using the app on their iPhone, and using AI technology, the app will provide their results "within seconds."

What the app aims to do is remove any doubt of the actual results of the test by using AI to correctly determine the location of the results line. In COVID-19 rapid antigen tests, the presence and location of a line in different areas determines whether the patient tests positive or negative for COVID-19, and some patients may misinterpret the lines, leading to a false understanding of what their result actually is.

In compliance with U.S. law, the app will automatically share the results with appropriate public health agencies and abides by all HIPAA rules and regulations. The hope is that this new test will increase the number of people who can get tested for COVID-19 themselves with a higher level of accuracy.

The new test is awaiting FDA approval, and clinical trial results submitted to the agency shows the test has a "93% positive agreement and 99% negative percent agreement compared to high-sensitivity, emergency-use-authorized PCR tests," according to Kroger Health.

You can learn more about the test here.

Top Rated Comments

johnmacward Avatar
8 months ago
"Unfortunately, getting tested on a mainstream level currently requires a trip to a clinic or government instituted site."

Why is this "unfortunate"? It's normal, they're the experts, they know how to do it right (usually). What a strange point of view.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
peneaux Avatar
8 months ago
"AI" for testing for virus? They forgot to add "quantum computing" in the mix. Add "nano-tech" for a trifecta!
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
smoking monkey Avatar
8 months ago

"Unfortunately, getting tested on a mainstream level currently requires a trip to a clinic or government instituted site."

Why is this "unfortunate"? It's normal, they're the experts, they know how to do it right (usually). What a strange point of view.
I think it just means it's less convenient and that means people are sometimes reticent to go.

within 20 years the things our smartphones and watches will be able to do for us medically will be incredible.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
kiranmk2 Avatar
8 months ago
The overlooked factor is the self administered nasal swap. Having had a swab myself I know how uncomfortable it is (it feels like the swab is scraping your brain) and I would seriously doubt how reliably the average person would be able to self-administer this. Not going far enough up the nose likely won't gather the required antigens resulting in false negative results. In the UK dome doctors have esitmate that 1 in 3 negative test results may be invalid, presumably due to this.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Confused-User Avatar
8 months ago
I know it's hard to perfectly copyedit stories, given the short time you have to write and post them. But even by the relaxed standards of internet publishing, this is the worst article I've ever seen on this site.

The first three sentences, in particular, are amazing. While I'm pretty sure I can figure out what the author meant to say, what they actually wrote was virtually babble. "tested on a mainstream level"? "breakthrough of what it means to get tested"?

Use fewer words.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Taz Mangus Avatar
8 months ago
The issue is the reliability of the rapid COVID-19 test:

if a person is asymptomatic, they might not have high enough levels of virus in their mucus to test positive.
And this is the real concern with using rapid testing:

Experts warn that you shouldn't treat rapid testing as a free pass to attend a party or wedding ('https://www.womenshealthmag.com/health/a32400011/how-to-see-friends-and-family-once-quarantine-ends/').
https://www.womenshealthmag.com/health/a34600525/covid-19-rapid-test/
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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