“This is the saliva specimen collection and essentially this just gets inserted into your lower cheek, moved 10 times, back and forth 10 times to collect an adequate amount of sample,” said CEO Justin Bellante, who demonstrated the swabbing kit for 11Alive.
Bellante said this test aims to get results back to people within 24 to 48 hours at the most, using a network of labs the company has.
“If there’s a hotspot, get the testing done elsewhere because the hospitals need all the testing capacity in that hotspot, so it’s a real advantage having a network of labs,” he said.
He said the tests are rolling out all over the country this week but first, it’ll be available to healthcare workers, eventually making its way to other critical infrastructure essential workers and vulnerable people.
“Having a platform surrounding this testing also helps you bring it to market and really, bring it to people who need it more effectively,” explained Bellante.
Because a patient can collect the saliva under supervision of a healthcare worker, it lessens exposure, addressing a critical issues right now in hospitals: PPE shortage.
“We just can’t burn through a full layer of personal protective equipment every time a new patient comes through. We have to preserve that,” he said.
Bellante said flocked swabs are also running low and this test can help preserve that supply.
The company says they developed this test under strict adherence to FDA guidelines.