Making at-home testing available allows for a greater number of people to be tested in a shorter time span and minimizes the risk of infectious people having to travel to get tested. However, home testing is not without its risks. Failure to properly collect a sample can lead to a false result. Currently, tests that detect an active infection require a sample from the back of the nasal cavity which may be difficult for a patient to collect at home without proper training.
The FDA has warned against the use of unregulated home test kits which have not been validated for accuracy. In April, LabCorp became the first company to receive FDA authorization for home collection of COVID-19 test samples. The LapCorp test requires the patient to collect a sample from the front of the nasal cavity at home which is then sent to a laboratory for processing. OraSure Technologies and Cue Health have also both received Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) funding to accelerate development of their rapid at-home tests.
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