BD working with Scanwell Health to create at-home rapid test for COVID-19

Franklin Lakes-based BD, a leading global medical technology company, and Scanwell Health, a leader in smartphone-enabled at-home medical tests, announced Monday they will collaborate to create an at-home rapid test for COVID-19 using a BD antigen test and the Scanwell Health mobile app.

As part of the collaboration, BD plans to produce a lateral flow antigen test and pair it with the Scanwell Health mobile app, the companies said in a release. The companies said the app is expected to provide step-by-step instructions on how to collect and transfer a nasal swab sample and use the mobile device’s camera to analyze and interpret results.

The test result will be displayed onscreen, and the companies are also planning to develop functionality to assist in automated reporting to public health agencies. This approach is intended to provide an efficient and scalable rapid antigen home testing solution.

Dave Hickey, president of life sciences for BD, said testing at home before going out into the public is a critical safeguard to help stop the spread of COVID-19, which is clinically known as SARS-CoV-2.

“BD and Scanwell Health are bringing the best of our innovations together to develop a reliable test with a convenient and simple user experience,” he said. “We see the development of an at-home lateral flow rapid antigen test as a complementary solution to our best-in-class BD Veritor system.”

Stephen Chen, founder and CEO of Scanwell Health, said he’s excited about the possibilities.

“Partnering with an industry leader like BD creates a unique opportunity to help millions of people test for the SARS-CoV-2 virus from the safety and comfort of their homes,” he said. “Scanwell’s innovative computer vision technology closely mirrors that of point-of-care and laboratory diagnostic systems. We’re excited to leverage our experience in building FDA-cleared apps to bring this solution to market.”

BD officials noted: The BD Veritor Plus System for Rapid Detection of SARS-CoV-2 Assay has not been cleared or approved by FDA. The test has been authorized by FDA under an Emergency Use Authorization for use by authorized laboratories. The test has been authorized only for the detection of proteins from SARS-CoV-2, not for any other viruses or pathogens.