Local researchers evaluate a new at home test for COVID-19 that may soon be available

ATLANTA — A new at-home test evaluated by doctors here could be a game changer. It is one of the tests researchers from Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, Emory University and Georgia Tech worked together to evaluate.

Last summer the federal government tasked the group to study and recommend the best coronavirus tests to be used on a large scale. One of the tests the researchers recommended is a home test by Ellume. It has FDA approval and could be available on a large scale soon.

Dr. Wilbur Lam, a CHOA Pediatric Hematologist says the accuracy rate for that test is above 90%. Lam and the other researchers started evaluating dozens of tests last summer for the National Institutes of Health. He said they vetted about 50 coronavirus tests. He says between 10 and 15 were ones the NIH deemed meritorious.

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Lam says the Ellume at-home test is easy to use and highly accurate. He says it is like a pregnancy test but instead of urine it’s done with nasal swab fluid. He says the company will have an app that can connect with the device that will say whether someone is positive or negative. He says it takes about fifteen minutes.

Now the same group of researchers have been asked by the NIH to study if the tests they recommended also work in detecting the emerging variants.