Amazon launched a home COVID-19 test kit for American consumers last month, expanding the options for people to be tested for the disease.
This Self-management test Built on Amazon’s internal COVID-19 testing program, which has processed millions of tests from more than 750,000 employees, According to the company. Although Amazon is Slow down the test Among its warehouse employees, anyone can now order Amazon COVID-19 tests from the Amazon website.
At GeekWire, we decided to test. I have no symptoms and have been vaccinated, but I am willing to act as a guinea pig. My conclusion is: the whole process is very simple on Amazon. The delivery of the test was very fast, and I received the results within 24 hours of mailing it back on working days.
For this episode of GeekWire’s Health Tech Podcast, we also talked with a COVID-19 testing expert, Jerry Kanglossi, Professor of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences, University of Washington.
“I applaud it entirely,” he said of Amazon’s COVID-19 test, citing the public health benefits of testing more widely.
But how accurate is this self-administered COVID-19 test?
Cangelosi and his colleagues published A study last year This helps lay the foundation for COVID-19 testing at home. The study shows that there are almost as many COVID-19 cases detected by non-invasive samples collected from the lower part of the nose as the gold standard collection method (nasopharyngeal swabs): your brain,” Kangelosi said. If you sneeze, you will also put medical staff at greater risk.
You cannot collect a sample of the nasopharynx yourself, so the home test involves the light touch of the nose. The Amazon test has received emergency use authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and is suitable for people 18 years and older.
The COVID-19 testing service adds to Amazon’s healthcare products, including its Halo health bracelets and services, cloud services for healthcare and life sciences, and its prescription delivery service Amazon Pharmacy.according to Business insider, Amazon is discussing plans to enter the field of health diagnosis.
“From all angles, healthcare will become an increasingly large part of their future strategy,” said John Rothman, a former Amazon business leader and former Amazon business leader. Amazon way, In the most recent episode of another GeekWire podcast, day 2
Take the exam: Amazon-easy
Ordering a test, accepting the test, and receiving the results is very simple.
I ordered my test in the early afternoon, and the test arrived at my home in Seattle before 11 am the next day to take the test, I registered it online Amazon website, It sets the clock to tick to send it to the mail within 24 hours.
Amazon uses PCR testing, which is the type of testing used by free testing sites in Seattle and other cities, and usually requires analysis in a laboratory. PCR test more acurrate An antigen test that is cheaper than usual, it provides results in a few minutes, but some infections may be missed, especially in the early stages.An Amazon spokesperson provided us with A link Describes the type of test, unfortunately it cannot be easily accessed on the website by searching for the COVID-19 test.
The kit has qualities almost similar to IKEA, with simple diagrams Short instructional videoThere is even a convenient circular cutout of the cardboard to place the collection tube so that it does not overflow. I wipe each nostril for 15 seconds (not too far, no need to sneeze).
Some home tests come with video observations to ensure that you perform the test correctly, such as the kit provided by Costco, which costs more than $100. Unlike Amazon’s test (applicable to most other travel locations), the kit is approved as part of the Hawaii travel plan.
In Cangelosi’s study, health professionals observed when patients self-administered nasal swabs. Amazon testing does not involve such observations, which may reduce accuracy. However, the explanation is very clear, so it seems difficult to make a mistake.
In the absent video observation, I pulled some neighbor children who may or may not be related to me as witnesses for my test. “You didn’t do the right thing!” one said. I’m not sure what she thought I did wrong, but either way to fix it didn’t make me go to Hawaii. I put the swab in the collection tube and taped the recycling bin.
Like some other test kits, this kit needs to be delivered to the UPS drop box or store.
“I have no symptoms of COVID-19!!” I assured the clerk, “I did this for work!”
She looked at me as if I had lost my mind. Amazon didn’t remind me to wear a mask (I did) or wrap myself with an impermeable plastic coating (I didn’t).
I sent my sample to UPS at 4:15 on Tuesday afternoon, and Amazon notified me via email and text message at 7:03 on Wednesday morning that it had arrived in the laboratory. At 1:25 pm, I received an email and text message to view my results on AmazonDx.com. I log in with the same Amazon username and password that I used to purchase products on their website.
My test result is negative. I am not surprised by my results, but I must admit that I still feel a little relieved. Breakthrough infections in vaccinated people are rare, usually mild, and can be asymptomatic, but I don’t want to spread anything to vulnerable people close to me without knowing it.If my test result is positive, Amazon will be required by law Notify public health authorities, According to its website.
In general, the experience is very simple.It’s easier for me to go to a free test site just one mile from my home, but not everyone can get a free test so close Washington state Either NationwideThe Amazon test seems to be a good public health tool.
Mixed messaging on Amazon.com
Although the test kit has a positive effect on public health, judging from the number of positive reviews, a series of anti-vaccination literature on Amazon may have the opposite effect and seem to be more popular.
When I initially searched for “COVID-19 test kits at home”, I found Amazon tests and materials such as Kindle book warnings about COVID-19 vaccines and “ww3 tools for world population decline and organ degradation.”
Amazon has Uneven and opaque method Go to the COVID-19 error message on its website, delete some materials and keep other materials. It’s not difficult to find similar publications on Amazon, such as Joseph Mercola’s material, No. 1 in “False Information Twelve” A list of people responsible for anti-vaccine information compiled by the non-profit Anti-Digital Hate Center. Mercola’s “The Truth About COVID-19” received an additional reward from the second Robert F. Kennedy (Jr.) striker on the list. It has been reviewed more than 1,600 times and is the number one best-selling book in “Illness and Physical Health”.
You can also buy supplements from Mercola’s supplement company on Amazon, but not online from Walgreens, Bartell Drugs or Rite Aid.
Listen to the content above, subscribe to any podcast app, and continue to read the highlights from our interview with Jerry Cangelosi of the University of Washington, edited for brevity and clarity.
Q: Your study recruited approximately 500 patients in Seattle, and approximately 10% of them tested positive. You compared the gold standard nasopharyngeal swabs with less invasive swabs, which are collected by the patient under observation. what have you found?
Kanglossi: Each patient provides nasopharyngeal swabs, non-invasive shallow nasal swabs and oral swabs. Basically, compared with the gold standard nasopharyngeal swab, the shallow nasal swab can detect 94% of patients. Oral swabs are slightly less, about 90%.
It turns out that the nasal swab did what we wanted to do. They are easy for patients to collect themselves, but they are almost as effective as invasive surgery.
Q: How big is the difference between collection methods, and what does this mean for the feasibility of self-administered COVID testing?
Kanglossi: this is very important. Therefore, you will miss 6% of patients, and in other assessments, the situation is much more than that.
I am a public health officer. My task is to try to find as many COVID patients as possible. Because when you identify a COVID-19 patient, you can say: “You have COVID-19. Please isolate for two weeks.” This will stop the spread of the disease.
Therefore, some people cannot be detected by nasopharyngeal swabs at all. This must be done in the clinic. There are just not enough clinical facilities and enough healthcare professionals to collect all of this.
Q: What does the self-administered test mean for public health and the spread of COVID-19?
Kanglossi: We will find more cases through self-managed non-invasive sampling. Of course, Amazon hopes to take it to a new level. You need a non-invasive sample to do this.
So, our dream, still just a dream, is to be able to actively contact people in schools, workplaces or institutions, and test people more regularly, so that you can find out that they are sick and sick before they know it. You can let them quarantine or receive treatment so they don’t spread around.
I think that even though the swabs collected by the self-collection will not be as good as the swabs collected by the provider, they will find more cases, which is good.
Q: What do you think of using UPS as a delivery location?
Kanglossi: This does seem to be a problem. Let us say that this is a work in progress. I think Amazon has the ability to bring something. I can imagine that if this situation prevails, drop boxes that provide more isolation may be built. I do not encourage people who believe they have COVID to enter UPS stores.
Question: In terms of the development direction in this regard, what will you leave us with? In your ideal world, what will the test environment look like in one or two years?
Kanglossi: Although I appreciate what Amazon has done and I appreciate it, in an ideal world, everyone has enough common sense to be vaccinated, so the whole topic becomes irrelevant, including my research in the field. Then I went back and started fighting tuberculosis in Africa again. There is a vaccine against COVID-19. If everyone uses it, we will talk about other things.