San Francisco: US-based healthcare technology maker Abbott has unveiled a test that can deliver positive results in as little as five minutes.
The medical-device maker plans to supply 50,000 tests a day starting April 1, said John Frels, vice president of research and development at Abbott Diagnostics.
The molecular test looks for fragments of the coronavirus genome, which can be detected in as little as five minutes when it’s present at high levels. A thorough search to definitively rule out an infection can take up to 13 minutes, he said.
The US Food and Drug Administration granted the approval under its Emergency Use Authorisation.
It is the second test to be approved by the FDA that can be used directly in physicians’ offices and other community healthcare settings and promptly provide results to patients.
Last week, the FDA approved a test made by Cepheid that can be used at the point of care.
“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 at Abbott, in a statement.
Abbott received approval last week for a high volume, an automated diagnostic test that can be used in laboratories and said at the time it would immediately distribute 150,000 of the tests around the country.