Following the news LabCorp’s COVID-19 test received the first food and drug administration (FDA) emergency use authorization (EUA) for use in screening asymptomatic subjects;
Aliyah Farouk, Medical Device Analyst at GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company, offers her view:
“Asymptomatic testing will be key in the next phase of the pandemic as concerns about virus resurgence heighten. Asymptomatic individuals are less likely to follow public health guidelines, therefore expanding testing to include them is critical in the mitigation of COVID-19 transmission. The food and drug administration (FDA) has outlined easy steps for developers to get their tests authorized for this use. As such, GlobalData expects companies in the molecular testing landscape will widen their diagnostic testing capabilities to include these patients.
“Furthermore, GlobalData expects asymptomatic testing to gain traction in the UK as it is already available for care home staff and residents. Additionally, several employers, including pharmacy chain Boots, are partaking in a pilot assessing the effectiveness of asymptomatic testing for high contact occupations. Adoption in the US is expected to not be as widespread as the country is still facing a drastic shortage in testing.
“The exact prevalence of asymptomatic COVID-19 patients remains uncertain as the focus thus far has been on testing symptomatic patients. Furthermore, healthcare institutions do not typically have the capacity to follow up with patients for prolonged periods after initial examination to see if they have developed symptoms. Therefore, gaining a better understanding of this area will be the key to containing the spread of the virus.”