nursing homes, prisons and the travel and hospitality industry, such as cruise lines, and perhaps schools. The company expects leasing agreements to cost between $25,000 and $30,000 per month.
The dollar amount sounds large, but the company hopes to get the cost per test down to an average of $10 to $12 each, according to InspectIR Systems COO John Redmond. This is in line with (maybe even cheaper than) commercially available at-home rapid tests. The leasing price would include a supply of individually wrapped paper straws, an air filter for the test kit and other necessary components.
How accurate is the test?
Its accuracy was confirmed in a large study of just over 2,400 people, including those with and without symptoms. In the end, the test was shown to have 91.2% sensitivity (the percent of positive samples the test correctly identified) and 99.3% specificity (the percent of negative samples the test correctly identified). The test performed just as well in a follow-up study focused on the Omicron variant.
The test’s approval arrives as the Omicron subvariant BA.2 takes over the country, now accounting for almost 86% of all COVID cases, according to data from the U.S. Centers of Disease Control and Prevention. Several northeastern cities have seen cases climb recently as the subvariant surges, and Philadelphia even brought back its indoor mask mandate this week to try to stem the spread of BA.2.
A positive test should be confirmed through another testing method, such as a PCR lab test, the FDA stresses.
The agency warns that negative tests “should be considered in the context of a patient’s recent exposures, history and the presence of clinical signs and symptoms consistent with COVID-19” and “should not be used as the sole basis for treatment or patient management decisions, including infection control decisions.”