BD, Scanwell to create at-home rapid test for COVID-19

Becton Dickinson and Scanwell Health announced Monday a collaboration to create an at-home rapid test for SARS-CoV-2 that pairs a Becton Dickinson antigen test with Scanwell's mobile app. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

Dave Hickey, president of life sciences at Becton Dickinson, remarked "there's a real commitment to the next wave of testing, particularly in these decentralised settings," adding "we're obviously very conscious around what is the level of clinical performance that you've got to achieve for these tests to have real meaningful use in those settings."

Becton Dickinson and Scanwell said they expect the app will "provide step-by-step instructions on how to collect and transfer a nasal swab sample and use the mobile device's camera to analyse and interpret results," which will be displayed onscreen. Scanwell CEO Stephen Chen noted that his company's "computer vision technology closely mirrors that of point-of-care and laboratory diagnostic systems." The partners are also planning to develop functionality to assist in automated reporting to public health agencies.

Meanwhile, Hickey views the development of an at-home lateral flow rapid antigen test as a "complementary solution" to Becton Dickinson's existing Veritor Plus system for rapid testing of SARS-CoV-2 at the point-of-care. The Veritor assay was authorised for emergency use by the FDA and also obtained the CE mark last year.

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