Updated: Feb 2, 2021
Finally, there is a rapid at-home COVID-19 test that we can purchase that boasts 96% accuracy. More importantly, the Ellume at-home COVID-19 test will provide results within 15 minutes, without the need to mail your test to a lab for processing. Unfortunately, this new at-home test will require the uncomfortable mid-turbinate (allowing the nasal swab into the nose until it meets resistance) nasal swab for finding active COVID-19.
The Biden Administration has announced a partnership with Ellume to purchase $8.5 million of their at-home COVID-19 tests. If these tests are accurate as stated in the press release, we could really begin to see a decline in COVID-19 infections. Also, we can begin to travel and spend time with our families and friends without the fear of spreading the COVID-19 virus.
According to the press release, Ellume is based in Australia and recently obtained emergency use authorization (EUA) by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The company promises to deliver 100,000 tests each month from their Australian facility until their U.S. facility is built. The funding provided by the federal government will also allow Ellume to get established in the United States, to facilitate rapid delivery of their rapid at-home COVID-19 tests. The test will cost $30 during the initial rollout. However, the cost may drop once the company is able to scale their production. Sadly, a lot of people may not be able to afford the cost of the test and may have difficulty with the technical aspects of connecting to the Ellume online platform to conduct the test. Also, we do not have any information at this time if health insurance companies will reimburse or cover the costs of the Ellume rapid at-home COVID-19 test.
You can learn more about the Ellume Rapid COVID-19 test here.
Associated Press. (January 2021). Ellume Announces $231.8 Million Agreement with the U.S. Government to Scale Up Production of COVID-19 Home Tests. Retrieved from: Ellume Announces $231.8 Million Agreement with the U.S. Government to Scale Up Production of ... (apnews.com)
Ellume. (2 February 2021). Covid-19 Response. Retrieved from: https://www.ellumehealth.com/covid19-response
U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). (December 2020). FDA Authorizes Antigen Test as First Over-the-Counter Fully At-Home Diagnostic Test for COVID-19. Retrieved from: https://www.fda.gov/news-events/press-announcements/coronavirus-covid-19-update-fda-authorizes-antigen-test-first-over-counter-fully-home-diagnostic
Disclosure: (I am a writer and editor for the National Institutes of Health. Information contained in this blog post are not associated with my role at NIH).