BD primes Amazon rollout of smartphone-based rapid COVID-19 test

BD and Scanwell Health’s at-home rapid antigen test for the coronavirus relies on a smartphone camera to interpret the findings of a test stick dipped in a diluted nasal swab sample, with the Scanwell app returning results in about 15 minutes. (BD)

The biggest shopping days of the year are right around the corner, and this Cyber Monday, BD is making it easier than ever to stock up on COVID-19 tests.

The diagnostic developer’s smartphone-based rapid antigen test began its commercial rollout this week, with the test available for purchase through Amazon. There, the Veritor kit is eligible for free one-day shipping with an Amazon Prime membership.

Each kit includes two tests. While the two-pack typically retails for $39.99, it’s marked down to $26.50 on the retail giant’s website through December thanks to a partnership between the Biden administration and Amazon, Kroger and Walmart. In September, the retailers agreed to sell over-the-counter COVID tests at cost through the end of the year, which translates to price cuts of up to 35% for consumers.

Schools and businesses can also purchase the test kits in bulk through BD’s standard sales channels.

RELATED: FDA greenlights first smartphone-based home COVID-19 test

The Veritor kit, developed in tandem with Scanwell Health, received emergency use authorization from the FDA in August, almost exactly two months before its commercial launch and less than a year after Scanwell and BD teamed up to develop a smartphone-based, at-home test to detect the coronavirus. It’s cleared for self-testing by anyone 14 years and older, while children between the ages of two and 13 can be tested with samples collected by an adult.

To conduct the test, users begin by downloading the Scanwell Health app onto their smartphones. The app guides them through the process of collecting a nasal swab, diluting it in the included tube of reagent liquid and transferring the sample to the test stick.

From there, the app times out 15 minutes as the sample develops, then prompts users to take a photo of the test stick. Computer vision technology embedded in the Scanwell app analyzes the picture to determine immediately whether the results are positive or negative.

The app then automatically transmits those results to state and federal public health organizations as well as to any designated schools or businesses requiring the test.

RELATED: Intrivo launches at-home COVID test that returns results in 10 minutes via AI-powered app

BD and Scanwell aren’t alone in looking to smartphones to streamline the process of testing for COVID-19. Earlier this month, BD was among a handful of test makers who received a collective $77.7 million from the National Institutes of Health’s RADx program to support the development of new and improved diagnostics that use smartphones to interpret the results of their rapid tests.

Just last week, Intrivo Diagnostics began rolling out its own direct-to-consumer, smartphone-based coronavirus diagnostic. The On/Go kit relies on an app to guide users through the testing process and interpretation of the results.

 Intrivo’s offering received its FDA authorization and has begun its commercial rollout—via Amazon, Walmart and the On/Go website—with the goal of returning results in just 10 minutes.