Healthcare and medical giant Abbott Laboratories announced Friday that it developed a coronavirus test kit which is capable to detect that an individual is infected with the disease as fast as five minutes.
The medical device developer said it has won the US marketing approval to develop the test kits.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration gave clearance to the diagnostic device under its Emergency Use Authorization on March 18.
RELATED STORY: Coronavirus cases breach 600,000 mark
Reuters reported that the company plans to mass produce 50,000 test kits a day beginning April 1.
The rapid test kit is roughly the size of a small kitchen appliance employs the molecular testing method, which produces results through saliva and mucus samples swabbed from a patient.
Abbott Diagnostics vice president for research and development John Frels said the molecular tests developed by the company searches for coronavirus genome which can be detected in five minutes when it’s present at high levels while a thorough search might last up to thirteen minutes.
— Abbott (@AbbottNews) March 27, 2020
The new rapid test kits will give a boost to United States which now has the highest number of coronavirus cases in the world and hospitals across the country that currently facing the high volumes of demand to test thousands of people for the highly contagious disease.
Frels called the development a significant leap forward, adding that the portable rapid test kits utilize Abbott’s ID NOW diagnostics platform.
Abbott ID NOW hardware “holds the largest molecular point-of-care footprint in the U.S.,” that can be used directly by doctor’s offices, health facilities and other community healthcare settings and rapidly deliver results to patients suspected carrying the disease.
“You can get a positive result in five minutes and a negative result in 13 minutes. You can walk into a clinic and literally get results while you are there,” he said.
READ ON: Trump wants US travel ban lifted by Easter, then retracts to mean he’ll do it per “section”
Abbott’s portable test kits is the second rapid test kit approved by the FDA to address the problem being faced by the US in its fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. Earlier, the FDA gave a go signal to a test kit produced by Cepheid.
“The COVID-19 pandemic will be fought on multiple fronts, and a portable molecular test that offers results in minutes adds to the broad range of diagnostic solutions needed to combat this virus,” Robert Ford, president and chief operating officer at Abbott said.
Abbott bared it plans to produce 5 million tests per month to hasten the testing of patients.