Nowadays, every company is searching for any possible way to detect COVID-19 in people, even those with asymptomatic cases.
As such, Abbott has received CE Mark approval for its lateral flow assay Panbio Covid-19 Ag Rapid Test Device, intended for the rapid, qualitative detection of SARS-CoV-2 virus, for asymptomatic testing and self-swabbing.
The process of detecting asymptomatic individuals was done by incorporating updates to Panbio COVID-19 Ag’s label related to clinical data on those types of individuals, which enables mass testing of people who do not present symptoms of the virus.
According to a recent study published in JAMA, at least 50 percent of the pandemic’s infections are estimated to have originated from exposure to asymptomatic individuals.
How does this update help with fighting the virus?
By enabling the self-collection of nasal specimens by users under the guidance of a healthcare worker.
Abbott said that self-swabbing with a patient-friendly nasal swab will enhance comfort for patients and reduces the risk of accidental exposure to the virus.
“Rapid testing continues to be one of our most important tools for fighting this pandemic, and the ability to perform mass screening allows us to expand testing and reach more people in more places,” Abbott president and chief executive officer Robert Ford said.
“Now that Abbott’s Panbio rapid antigen test has an asymptomatic indication, it becomes an even more valuable tool for enabling a safer return to work, school, travel and other activities of daily life,” he added.
The clinical efficacy of the device was determined through a testing program, in 483 people asymptomatic for the pandemic’s antigen, while the results are compared against PCR reference method.
This solution does not stop on a simple important test, rather Abbott will offer complementary digital solutions: the NAVICA mobile app allows people to display negative results for proof of testing and Sympheos.
The aim of this method is to have more efficient surveillance management to understand epidemiological trends.
Since August 2020, Abbott has shipped 200 million Panbio rapid antigen tests to 120 countries worldwide including the Americas, Asia, and Africa. Healthcare professionals globally have seen the clinical utility of the test in detecting the virus infections.
Hence, the efforts to help the world fight this pandemic led Abbott to continue to make Panbio rapid antigen tests available to low- and middle-income countries in coordination with the Global Fund, the World Health Organization, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.