New COVID-19 test you take at home
New COVID-19 test you take at home
12:24

New COVID-19 test you take at home

Wellness
Well, the question of our age is going to be COVID-19 status. But most of us don't even understand what that is we're testing for, where to get the test? When, or who should get it? And the all important, how's it going to get paid for now, what. [MUSIC] Dr. Brian Cabany can give us some answers. He is the president of diagnostics at Labcore. Brian, you are the number one or number two lab company in the US? We like to think that we're the leader in the whole world in lab testing, but it's debatable in how you measure that. Not debatable to me. You guys have put plently of holes in my arms. [LAUGH] So I know you're big. I'm sure many of our viewers have been to a lab core location. So, it is a place that does the testing, but also it's sometimes the place you go to get a test. In this case we're talking about something very different, a home COVID-19 tests that they call pixel, not this pixel. A different pixel. So tell me Brian, first and foremost before we get into how it works, what does it test for? It is the particular type of diagnostic test that we can do at home. And this is the type of test for COVID-19. That is specifically looking for the virus in a specimen. So basically it's a nasal swab of someone who's either symptomatic or been exposed. And then what we do through a technology called PCR, which we helped pioneer of almost 30 years ago. We specifically look for the genomic sequence of the SARS cov2 virus. That's the virus that causes. COVID-19. we amplify that and we can find it in our very precise machines that lets us know that you indeed had it in your nose, when you did the swab and therefore you have COVID-19. Okay. So PCR, polymerase chain reaction stuff we all learned about during the OJ Simpson trial. Right? [LAUGH] Exactly. That's a DNA test. If what you're looking at the DNA of the virus. We can look for the exact sequence of a part of the code of the virus and that lets us know that it's that exact virus and not any of the thousands and thousands of others out there that you could be infected with.>> Okay, so it's very specific, which is interesting because I've talked to a lot of companies that let's say do disinfection. They will say we can identify or we can inactivate just about any virus that is like COVID-19 and many of them can't say they are killing COVID-19 yet. In your testing phase though, you're able to definitely identify the COVID-19 SARS Cove to Exactly and that's how doctors can definitively diagnose you with it. And then we actually let both the patient know in the doctor know, but also under all of the public health laws. We informed typically the state or local health department in the CDC about all positive cases. And that's how they are tracking all of the positive cases everywhere for those cool graphs and figures that we all can see on the news all the time, and then they're identifying other people that have been exposed to those positive cases. To then try to test them if necessary. [CROSSTALK] Okay, so that's a form of contact tracing. We hear about contact tracing through phones and such but this is more specific. And I noticed that the test is not available in four states, two of which are hot zones for this thing, New York and New Jersey. Is that still the case? Well, the good news is time flies when you're in a pandemic and a public health emergency in and as of now, in early July, it's available in all 50 states. We have worked with the governments of each of the four states that previously had long standing policies against Consumer Ordered Testing, and they have now changed their policies and you can order At home COVID-19 testing in all 50 states now and still in most states, it requires a physician order in order to get a test okay as it still does even in the public health emergency. So even for our pixel at home COVID-19 diagnostic test, it still includes a clinical questionnaire to determine whether you have current symptoms. You have risk factors or you've been exposed and then we actually have a network of doctors in all 50 states. That will then based on the results of that questionnaire will provide the physician prescription order from. For the test. Tell me what this is going to tell me. You know, you say it shows the presence of COVID-19 virus in my nose? Does that mean I've been infected or I'm going to get sick or I have antibodies or I'm immune or what mix of that do. Do I learn?>> The PCR technology is very, very precise. It tells you that you had virus genome in the specimen that we swapped. Now, in most most most cases, it means that that virus is still alive, able to replicate itself able to spread and therefore able for you to transmit it to other people. However, people that are very late in the disease and their immune system is already killing the virus. It sometimes breaks apart the virus in the genomic sequence the DNA RNA is still circulating. We can pick that up. So it still means that you have that, that virus in you, but it can't tell you for sure that you are then contagious to other people. It does not tell you the other things which are whether or not you have antibodies, whether or not you are immune to getting it again Those are different types of tests than the pure diagnostic PCR test which just says you you have virus in you. In almost all cases the public health agencies and medical associations are saying if the test is positive You can make the diagnosis of COVID-19. And you should assume that the patient is potentially contagious and should take the same precautions, such as isolating yourself, using good hygiene Not having other vulnerable people near you, those kinds of important measures. Okay. Do you guys have another test, or are you working on a test that's gonna be in the immunity realm. Or is that not your space? That's very much in our space. All lab testing is in our space to be honest with you. And we actually have multiple different antibody and immunity tests available already. It's a little bit complicated, the science, compared to what you're seeing in the media that kind of lumps antibody testing all together. Yeah. In fact, there are multiple different types of antibody that your body manufactures as part of your immune system to fight against viruses. And there are different parts of the virus that the antibody attacks. So an antibody is basically a protein that your immune system makes made by white blood cells and plasma cells and others in your immune system. And when it comes in contact with a virus or bacteria or fungus or mold or something else If it identifies it, it can specifically bind to it, try to inactivate it and therefore kill it, or keep it from spreading. That's how your immune system fights off most of the things that you have been exposed to. There are very specific antibodies Two different parts of the SARS co v2 virus at different time periods while your body's fighting it and so we have already on our menu Five completely different kinds of antibodies that we can test for. IgM, IgA, IgG, something called totally antibodies or high affinity mature antibodies. And then just a week or so ago we launched what's called a neutralising antibody test, which measures the very specific subset of antibodies That is the one that actually binds to, attacks, and kills the virus. Yes, this is interesting because so many people have been confused about why isn't there just an antibody test that I can go get. And that also means I'm immune, right? That's kind of a lay person's knowledge of this, but when you break it down into these many different handful of layers Of antibody presence. It starts to help us understand why it's a little more complex than just that. When I take this test, the swab test, how far does this thing have to go up my nose? The good news is that we have a lot of different options nowadays. In the very beginning, only the nasopharyngeal swab was validated by the FDA. And that's one that has to go about three and a half or four inches into your nose, all the way to the The zone between your nose and your throat. Yeah. The good news is we've done lots of head to head studies and validation studies with ones in the middle of your nose, the front of your nose, even the back of your throat like if you've ever had a strep throat test, there are salivary tests now, and then for people that are hospitalized There are other different types of procedural tests that can be done that wouldn't typically be done for an application. So we now have six or seven different options. The easiest one by far is called anterior nerese. Or it's basically looks a little bit like a Q tip that you just do in the outside of your nose., We like to have people swirl around both nostrils several times, because the virus is typically in the, in the cells on the edge and in the secretions. So, we wanna make sure we get a really good quality sample with a lot of your body's cells. And increases the chance that if you have the virus, we'll find it in those cells, because we're getting plenty of secretions from your swab. All right, so this doesn't have to go as far in, it doesn't sound as like when I go to the otolaryngologist, and they put one of those long, skinny scopes in there, that's really a long way. And this isn't that far. You can also use that one and some doctors prefer it but we have multiple other options that do not have to go very far. Because you know the media has been showing all the photos of these things. These drive through [LAUGH] clinics and it's everyone's head is back. It looks like they put this thing about a foot inside your nose. I think some people go, yikes, I think I'd rather have a have a colonoscopy than that. Yeah, it's a delicate balance. Everything in medicine, we wanna get a really, really good quality specimen. The better quality of the specimen when the swabbing takes place Place, the more likely that we're going to find it and the higher quality of the test the result in the diagnosis so that the data that we all get on how this thing is spreading is more precise. Alright, so last two questions we wrap up here. I see there a saliva test as well. Do they do the same thing or is that looking for something else. It is looking for the same virus in the saliva. saliva typically comes from lower down in your respiratory tract. The saliva tester a little bit more accurate if you're coughing or if you have some called a productive cough. Yeah. That's basically it's looking for viral genomic sequence just like the other specimen types like the different types of nasal swab. And we use the same exact technology to run the test once we get the specimen back into our laboratory. But the pixel test is a nasal swab. The pixel test is a nasal swab. It's once you do it at home, you follow our directions. It's very simple to follow to get a good quality specimen. You take it that day to any FedEx drop off point. It's FedExed overnight directly to one of our laboratories that performs the test. But then once we get it in our laboratory We run it on all the same high class enormous, room size, sophisticated machinery that we run all of our other testing, like it would come from a hospital or a doctor's office. Okay, let's wrap up with price. Is there a scenario where I can or could or would pay for this out of pocket or is it always going to go through insurance. Well, he good news is because of the public health emergency, the Federal Congress passed a couple of pieces of legislation that make this accessible to everyone. For our pixel test, we make it available with no upfront cost to the patient. They go through the symptom questionnaire, they fill it out, and And we send it to them. We partner with almost every single health plan in the country. So anyone who has insurance, we simply submit it to their insurance plan and it's almost always covered because of the federal legislation. Even for people who are uninsured the federal government has set up Under the cares Act and the family's first act, an uninsured fund that we can submit that claim to so that it's still accessible even to an uninsured person. Okay, that's anything to know. All right, a doctor Brian caveny is president of diagnostics at lab core. We've been talking about testing for COVID-19 how it's done and what you're going to learn when an IF You do it. We'll keep an eye on this topic as there are a lot of tentacles to the way it's developing and the answers it can give us. [MUSIC]

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