CHICAGO (WLS) -- Abbott Labs just won emergency FDA approval for a rapid COVID-19 test they say is 97% accurate and can give you results in 15 minutes.
The test is about the size of a credit card, and works using similar technology to a home pregnancy test.
"This requires no instrumentation, so no equipment, and results are fast, delivered in 15 minutes," said John Hackett, Abbott Divisional Vice President of Applied Research and Technology.
The BinaxNow test can be administered nearly anywhere by a medical professional with no extra tools, and it works with a free companion app. A patient scans their code, then the medical provider scans the test, connecting it to the patient. They use a simple nasal swab to collect a sample and insert it into the test kit, then add the included buffer liquid. Fifteen minutes later, you have a result ready on your phone.
"With no equipment required, it can be done in massive scale testing, where we can get to more places, more people, more frequently with a fast result," said Andrea F. Wainer, executive vice president of Rapid and Molecular Diagnostics.
Abbott is working with that massive scale right now, ramping up production on the tests and hiring 2,000 workers to help make them at their Gurnee facility.
Northwestern Medicine doctor Sindhu Aderson said the more accurate, fast, and frequent testing, the better.
"If we are able to pick up more positive tests in more asymptomatic positive people we can hopefully get this virus under control and do some real thorough contact tracing," Aderson said.
"We can be good and really fast and do it a couple times, and data shows when you have good and fast you actually have better disease control as opposed to when you're excellent and slow," said Dr. W. Frank Peacock, professor of emergency medicine at Baylor College of Medicine.
Abbott is working to produce tens of millions of tests next in September, 50 million tests per month by October. The cost per test is $5.