Mar 28, 2020 - Economy & Business

Abbott Labs previews portable, 5-minute coronavirus test

In this image, a phone screen says the phrase "Abbott Laboratories"
Photo: Igor Golovniov/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Abbott Laboratories says it has received emergency authorization from the FDA to produce portable novel coronavirus tests, which the company indicates can detect the virus within five minutes and will be available starting next week.

Why it matters, via Axios' Sam Baker: The U.S. doesn't have the capacity to do enough COVID-19 testing right now, and the tests that are available can take a week to produce results. Closing both of those gaps will be key to getting the virus under control.

Details: Abbott Laboratories says it is working with the Trump administration to deliver portable test kits to "areas where they can have the greatest impact" — likely virus hotspots such as New York, New Jersey and California.

  • The medical-device company plans to deliver 50,000 tests daily beginning April 1, per John Frels, vice president of research and development at Abbott, Bloomberg reports.

What they're saying: "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," Abbott president and COO Robert Ford said in a press release on Friday.

  • "With rapid testing on ID NOW, healthcare providers can perform molecular point-of-care testing outside the traditional four walls of a hospital in outbreak hotspots."

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