It has been a busy month for continued advancements in medical technology to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. From FDA approval of the first COVID-19 at-home test to Fitbit announcing new data suggesting wearables could detect COVID-19 before symptoms even start, medtech continues to play a critical role.
Earlier this month, the FDA greenlighted a new home COVID-19 test from Lucira Health called the “COVID-19 All-In-One Test Kit.” This is the first approved test for COVID-19 that can be administered at home and, for now, will only be available via prescription. The test relies on loop-mediated isothermal amplification reaction, or LAMP. While LAMP is faster and less cumbersome than PCR, it is generally thought to be less accurate.
Public health experts say the ability to take a COVID-19 test at home and receive results within minutes could be critical to reducing transmission of the virus. According to epidemiologist Michael Mina, at-home rapid antigen tests “could stop the pandemic by Christmas.” Behind the aggressive push to scale up development of these tests is our client, BioDot, which manufactures the dispensing equipment used by diagnostics manufacturers worldwide to develop rapid, accurate at-home COVID-19 tests. Scripps TV recently interviewed CEO Tony Lemmo, who said that once at-home antigen tests are approved by the FDA, manufacturers could make millions of the tests in a matter of months.
Supporting scale at this demand requires a resilient supply chain, which President-elect Biden has committed to reinforcing. His COVID-19 plan includes ensuring American manufacturing of medical products and preventing supply chain disruptions by building domestic capacity, “not only in an effort to rectify the damage that has already been done by the pandemic, but to ensure the country is better prepared for future crises as well.”