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How COVID Testing Works and Types of COVID Tests You Might Look Into

Nearly 45 million American’s have been diagnosed with COVID-19.

However, there’s no way to know how many citizens have truly had an infection because not everyone has had access to COVID testing. Had tests been readily available earlier in the pandemic, these statistics may have told a very different story.

Now, as we cautiously return to normal life, we’re in a position to conduct regular testing and keep others around us safe. But, how do you know which tests will be most practical and accurate?

iHealth Rapid Antigen Test 

Rapid antigen tests are the most popular option for the workplace and preventative testing. An antigen test can test for current COVID-19 infection. They are quick and easy to complete with instant results.

The iHealth COVID-19 Test is a nasal swap that detects the COVID protein antigen using a lateral flow assay within 10 minutes. There’s no need to send it off for analysis or buy any additional equipment.

The FDA has authorized this test for medical professionals and approved labs under the CLIA certificate of Waiver.

The iHealth antigen test has a 98% sensitivity and 100% specificity. This means that a positive result is highly accurate (100% specificity), but a negative result does not rule out infection (98% sensitivity).

Therefore, it’s advisable to take more than one test, and if there is any discrepancy between tests, you should get a molecular (PCR) test to confirm the result.

Indicaid Rapid Antigen COVID-19 Test

The Indicaid Rapid Antigen Test is similar to the CareStart test; however, Indicaid (brand) has undergone enhanced clinical testing to make it as accurate as possible. It is the most commonly used test right now.

The Indicaid test has a 100% specificity and 98% sensitivity, and the FDA has approved it under Emergency Use Authorization (EUA).

A trial was completed to test the accuracy of this antigen test, using blinded operators. The patients had RT-PCR tests, and their results were confirmed using the Indicaid test.

The results correctly detected 98% of positive samples and 100% of the negative samples. This means there is a slight risk of a false negative but almost no risk of a false positive. Therefore, once again, it is advised to take two tests to confirm the results.

Healgen Rapid Antibody Test

Around 1-3 weeks after being infected with COVID-19, your body will start to make antibodies to help you fight off any future COVID-19 infections.

Once these antibodies are present, you can use antibody tests to determine whether you’ve had COVID-19 recently.

The Healgen Rapid Antibody Test has a sensitivity of 95.7% and a specificity of 100%. This test is designed for use by a medical professional in an authorized laboratory.

The Healgen antibody test looks similar to a rapid antigen test but takes a small blood sample rather than a nasal swab.

A drop of blood goes into the sample well, and the buffer solution is added to the buffer well. The buffer solution will act on the blood sample and bind to any viral proteins that are present.

If these proteins are not present, the solution will cause only the control line to show. If they are present, both the testing and control line will become visible.

If you’re using one of these tests, you must do it no longer than one hour after than sample was collected.

In-Home Saliva PCR Kit

PCR tests (Polymerase Chain Reaction) are molecular tests and are the gold standard of accuracy. Many countries and airlines require a negative COVID-19 test before travel, so you can use this test to meet those requirements.

This test uses your saliva to test whether the COVID-19 virus is present and can detect current infection. You can take this test at home, but it must be analyzed and processed in a laboratory; you can expect the results within 48-72 hours.

The Saliva PCR Kit has a sensitivity of 97.5% (97.5% of positive infections are detected) and a specificity of 100% (100% of negative infections are detected).

Once your sample arrives at the lab, it undergoes processing to identify any infection. The healthcare professional will treat your sample with chemicals to remove irrelevant proteins and fats and extract genetic material (RNA).

This genetic material is then changed (transcribed) into DNA. The healthcare professional adds short fragments of extra DNA. If the COVID-19 virus is present, the added DNA will bind to different parts of your sample, indicating infection.

The sample is then put into an RT-PCR machine which amplifies it so that it becomes easier to identify a positive result correctly.

Lifesign COVID-19/Flu A&B Test 

The Lifesign COVID-19/Flu A&B Test is a nasal swab that helps identify whether a patient has COVID-19 or two common types of flu.

This test is helpful for workplace and infection monitoring to get a clear picture of the state of the workforce. This is an antigen test that identifies current infection, and the results appear within 15 minutes.

The test has a sensitivity of 93.9% and specificity of 100% when testing for COVID-19; 91.4% sensitivity and 95.7% specificity when testing for Flu A; 87.6% sensitivity and 95.9% specificity when testing for Flu B.

Therefore, these tests are less reliable than standard COVID-19 tests, but they can clearly indicate whether you have a flu or COVID-19 outbreak.

COVID Testing Made Simple

That’s your guide to COVID testing and how each test works. There’s no more wondering which test will be best for your home or workplace. Now you know the ins and outs of each test.

Whether you need a singular test for travel or bulk product for the whole office, we’ve got solutions for you.

If you’re ready to be responsible and stay safe, shop all our tests now to find the perfect test for your needs. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us through our website.

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E. Randy Eckert, MD
Medical Director

Need Bio

Brenda Thompson,
Vice President of Human Resources

With over 20 years of Human Resource and Operations experience, Brenda brings her expertise and specialized skill set to Dental Health Management Solutions, AnyPlace MD and AnyPlace Audiology.  Her successful career includes working as an Executive Director in senior living communities and advancing her Human Resources career to Vice President of Human Resources. Brenda has a specific style and approach to balance risk-management and employee satisfaction.

Shane Stevens - AnyPlace MD- COVID-19 Testing and Treatment Solutions

Shane Stevens

Throughout my career, I have served and volunteered with several organizations including serving as an advisory board member for Concordia University Texas, an annual participant and supporter of Hounds for Heroes, the Special Olympics, and many others. I have also served as a deacon at the Austin Baptist Church since 2009. Shane earned a BS in Long-Term Health Care Administration from Texas State University in San Marcos.