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The Gauss/Cellex rapid at-home COVID-19 test. Credit: Gauss

The company behind one of the new fully at-home COVID-19 tests is partnering with a digital health platform to deliver rapid diagnostics to consumers.

Why it matters: One of the biggest obstacles to at-home tests making a difference for the pandemic is delivering the tens of millions of kits that would be needed for regular, mass surveillance. The new partnership can help efforts scale up rapidly at a moment when the pandemic is spinning out of control and mass vaccination is still months away.

Driving the news: Gauss, a startup that develops computer vision-aided diagnostics for healthcare, is partnering with the digital health platform Truepill to speed the distribution of millions of rapid at-home COVID-19 tests, Axios can report first.

  • Gauss had previously partnered with the biotech startup Cellex to develop the at-home antigen COVID-19 tests, which can be taken and read at home using a smartphone, delivering results within 15 minutes.
  • The test is still awaiting emergency use authorization from the FDA — though Gauss expects approval to come through within days — and will be priced in the $30 range.
  • Gauss is working to produce a million tests over the next month, with plans to scale up to 30 million tests in the first quarter of 2021. Consumers will be able to order the tests from the Gauss website, with deliveries handled by Truepill, which already fulfills orders for direct to consumer drug brands like Hims.

Flashback: The FDA last week approved the first rapid, at-home coronavirus test — manufactured by Ellume and available across the counter without a prescription.

Context: While more than 200 million COVID-19 tests have been carried out by the U.S. since the start of the pandemic, most have been used to diagnose possible cases once symptoms have appeared, which does little to identify those who might be infectious before they can spread the virus.

Go deeper

L.A. becomes first county to surpass 1 million coronavirus cases

COVID-19 mass-vaccination of healthcare workers takes place at Dodger Stadium. Photo: Irfan Khan/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Los Angeles County officials said Saturday they had detected the county's first case of the highly transmissible coronavirus variant first found in the United Kingdom.

Why it matters: The announcement came as L.A. became the first county to surpass 1 million COVID-19 cases, straining the area's already overwhelmed health care system.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Health: CDC director defends agency's response to pandemic — CDC warns highly transmissible coronavirus variant could become dominant in U.S. in March.
  2. Politics: Biden readies massive shifts in policy for his first days in office.
  3. Vaccine: Fauci: 100 million doses in 100 days is "absolutely" doable.
  4. Economy: Unemployment filings explode again.
  5. Tech: Kids' screen time sees a big increase.
  6. World: WHO team arrives in China to investigate pandemic origins.
Dave Lawler, author of World
3 hours ago - World

Alexey Navalny detained after landing back in Moscow

Navalny and his wife shortly before he was detained. Photo: Kirill Kudryavtsev/AFP via Getty

Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny was detained upon his return to Moscow on Sunday, which came five months after he was poisoned with the nerve agent Novichok. He returned despite being warned that he would be arrested.

The latest: Navalny was stopped at a customs checkpoint and led away alone by officers. He appeared to hug his wife goodbye, and his spokesman reports that his lawyer was not allowed to accompany him.