By David A. Simon
The process of diagnosing a disease or condition, including detection of SARS-CoV-2 infection, is changing.
Consumers now can not only collect their specimen from their living room couch, but they can test it while watching Netflix. Sampling, testing, and obtaining results all can be done in a patient’s home.
For communicable diseases like COVID-19, the disease caused by SARS-CoV-2 infection, at-home testing has considerable public health benefits. In addition to being more convenient than traditional diagnostics, self-testing can substantially reduce or eliminate the risk that infected individuals will spread the virus en route to a testing site.
This innovation has been spurred, in part, by a powerful incentive: the federal government has all-but guaranteed reimbursement for these tests.