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At-home COVID-19 test kits boosts disease monitoring capabilities in early stages of US vaccine rollout: GlobalData

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Uptake accelerated by EUAs from US FDA but effectiveness needs patient awareness and education on proper use

While the US market value for COVID-19 tests was estimated at $25.6 billion in 2020, this is expected to grow to $31.2 billion in 2021, due to surging global case numbers and an expected lack of vaccine supply in H1 2021, as per GlobalData estimates.

A GlobalData release points out that the recent FDA Emergency Use Authorisation (EUA) and approval for two at-home COVID-19 test kits – Ellume COVID-19 Home Test and the Lucira COVID-19 All-In-One Test Kit – may accelerate growth into 2021, as it allows suspected cases to be more easily and safely tested, while reducing the burden on testing centres and labs. Both test kits use the patient’s self-collected nasal swab and a testing device to return results on COVID-19 infection within 30 minutes.

Currently, testing centres in the US have become overburdened by the surge in COVID-19 cases. At-home testing is an attractive alternative for public health officials as it will alleviate testing caseload, and people with suspected COVID-19 contact or symptoms can be easily and safely tested at home without fear of infection from contact at the testing centre.

Dominic Tong, medical devices analyst, GlobalData, commented, “Even with vaccines approved, public health officials need to stress the importance of mass testing and contact tracing, especially as COVID-19 cases continue to rise at an alarming rate. These at-home tests should help support these efforts, allowing policymakers to redeploy healthcare resources to where they are most needed.

“However, for them to be effective, physicians and manufacturers need to ensure that the public are educated in terms of next steps for potential outcomes. For example, it should be clear when results are expected to be reported, and to whom. Additionally, guidelines like social distancing and wearing a mask still need to be followed, even by those that test negative, for the virus to be contained long enough for the vaccine to be widely available.”

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