New at-home coronavirus test can produce results in 15 minutes

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A new COVID-19 test that can produce results in 15 minutes with the help of a smartphone app could become the first test that can be performed at home without involving a laboratory.

Biotech company Cellex partnered with Gauss, a computer vision startup, to develop the rapid-response test which uses artificial intelligence to provide the results, Axios reported.

The antigen test involves taking a nasal swab to both nostrils then placing it in a small vial filled with a buffer solution. Four droplets are then taken from the vial and placed on a test cassette.

Lines will develop with varying degrees of intensity depending on how much — if any — of the virus is present in the sample, similar to a pregnancy test.

The test is then scanned with a smartphone through an app, which will use AI to inform users if they tested positive or negative — all within 15 minutes, Axios explained.

“By embedding advanced computer vision algorithms within a thoughtfully-designed user experience, we can enable consumers to perform a rapid test in their own homes just as well as a trained operator or a laboratory instrument — simply by using their smartphone cameras,” Gauss CEO Siddarth Satish said in a statement.

If the FDA approves the diagnostic, it would be the first COVID-19 test that can be done to completion at home.