COVID-19 has shown the inability of our centralized lab testing infrastructure to prevent a pandemic from devastating businesses and disrupting human lives
Centralized lab testing for COVID-19 takes 1 to 14+ days to identify infected people who can transmit the infection to others while waiting for their samples to be tested. The test consumable cost is marked-up 500% or more to cover costly laboratory overheads and labor-intensive services for collecting, transporting, preparing, testing and reporting test samples. Centralized testing also causes lost productivity when employees and consumers travel to test centers and doctor appointments for test requisitions, sample collection and/or test results.
Some mobile testing technologies are used for COVID-19 including portable PCR, isothermal amplification, and antigen tests. There technologies do not detect positive patients as much as 1/3 of the time allowing infected people to transmit the infection to others. Antigen tests misdiagnose negative patients up to 1/3 of the time which needlessly isolates healthy people. COVID-19 is expected to remain in the population for years, mutate into new infective strains, and cause further diagnostic challenges.