The US drug regulator has given emergency-use authorization to a testing kit for Covid-19 that allows for the first time self-collection of sample by users at home, which can then be mailed for analysis.
Called Pixel by LabCorp, these kits are expected to cost $119 a piece and will be first made available only to healthcare workers and first responders who are at a greater risk of infection or have been infected.
The company has said it plans to make the kits more general available to consumers in a few weeks.
The kit can be bought online after going through a short health screening survey to determine the buyer’s risk of contracting the disease. The kit comes by mail with easy-to-use instructions — the sample will be a nasal swab.
The buyer is required to drop off the sample in pre-addressed insulated package at a FedEx collection drop-off box before the last pick-up scheduled for the day.
The test result will be conveyed by email, the company has said.
“Throughout this pandemic we have been facilitating test development to ensure patients access to accurate diagnostics, which includes supporting the development of reliable and accurate at-home sample collection options,” said Stephen M. Hahn, commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, in a statement.