Scripps Health Launches Rapid COVID-19 Testing at Hospitals

New diagnostic test delivers positive results in as little as 5 minutes

A lab technician inserts a swab into Abbott’s ID NOW, a testing device for rapid COVID-19 screening inside Scripps hospitals.

New diagnostic test delivers positive results in as little as 5 minutes

Scripps Health today announced the launch of the fastest available molecular point-of-care test for detecting the novel coronavirus at its five hospital campuses in San Diego County.

The test, which will be used to screen for COVID-19 in hospitalized patients requiring quick diagnostic turnaround, can deliver a positive result in as little as five minutes and a negative result in 13 minutes. The diagnostic tool received emergency use authorization from the Food and Drug Administration on March 27.

“Testing is a critical part of the overall response to the coronavirus pandemic,” said Chris Van Gorder, president and CEO of Scripps Health. “Today, Scripps moves that important tool to the front line of our fight against this devastating disease. The ability to deliver results in minutes at our hospitals for patients exhibiting possible symptoms of COVID-19 will allow our physicians to make faster and better decisions about delivering the best care needed.”

The assay runs on Abbott’s ID NOW infectious disease testing platform, a 6.6-pound, small toaster-sized portable device that uses molecular technology to deliver reliable and accurate results. 

For COVID-19, the platform looks for the novel coronavirus RdRp gene in throat, nasal, nasopharyngeal and oropharyngeal swabs taken from patients who might be infected.

The ID NOW system joins several other platforms already in use at Scripps laboratories for in-house testing for COVID-19, as well as outside testing capacity provided through Quest Diagnostics.

Learn more about Scripps Health, a nonprofit integrated health system in San Diego, Calif.

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Keith Darce

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