Our Quick Guide to Rapid COVID-19 Testing

Here's what to look for when choosing your rapid coronavirus test.

BinaxNow test card
Diagnostics Testing | Mar. 8, 2021

When it comes to COVID-19, knowledge is power. People want to know if they are infectious or not and they want their results now.

Rapid tests are best at detecting higher amounts of viral load when people are most likely to be infectious. And they deliver results quickly enough to help sick individuals from potentially spreading the virus to others. With multiple rapid tests available, what should you look for when selecting a rapid test?

  • Speed: Look for tests that offer results in minutes, not hours or days. Tests claiming to be "rapid" but still require mail-in samples or lab processing times have delays built in. Our BinaxNOW and ID NOW COVID-19 tests deliver results in 15 minutes or less.
  • Convenience: Testing that's convenient and accessible is likely closer to you. Tests that don't require instrumentation can be performed at home (with a virtually guided service) or outside of traditional healthcare settings, in drive-thru clinics, schools, workplaces and stand-up community testing sites. Look for tests offered in myriad locations.
  • Comfort: Nasal swabs that don't require a deep swab are the most comfortable. They're preferable to nasopharyngeal swabs, which can be uncomfortable and require that healthcare workers take additional precautions.
  • Reliability: Our BinaxNOW test is among the most studied rapid antigen test in the country and demonstrates performance of 95.6% positive agreement (sensitivity) in people seven days or less post-symptom onset with Ct counts of 33 or below. These are people who are most likely to be infectious and spread the virus to others.
  • Digital Verification: Look for a test that includes the added security and convenience of verification in the form of a digital pass. This way, if needed, you can securely display your negative results.
  • Track Record: All COVID-19 tests in the U.S. have been authorized under FDA Emergency Use Authorization. Abbott's rapid tests are among the most widely-used in the U.S., with more than 200 million of our BinaxNOW and ID NOW rapid tests used in urgent care clinics, doctor's offices, pharmacies, nursing homes, and schools since April 2020.

Our Rapid COVID-19 Tests
Our BinaxNOW test is the size of a credit card and requires no specialized instrumentation. This sleek form factor is what allows us to make it at scale and sell it for $5 per test. BinaxNOW can also be used with a no-charge app called NAVICA, which allows people who test negative to display their results on their mobile device. Adding to the convenience, the test can be used at home with a prescription through a virtually guided online service.

Our other rapid COVID-19 test is the ID NOW system, a molecular point-of-care test the size of a toaster that's designed to deliver results in 13 minutes or less. Since the beginning of the pandemic, we've more than tripled the availability of ID NOW production in the U.S. to meet the public need for more and faster molecular testing in more places.

Even as promising vaccines become more widely available, reliable, quick and convenient rapid testing will play an important role in containing pockets of infection and helping people get back to business, travel, school and visiting loved ones.

Because the sooner your COVID results are known, the sooner you can get back to the things you want to do.

And now, you're ready.

Important safety information

EMERGENCY USE AUTHORIZATIONS

The ID NOW COVID-19 EUA has not been FDA cleared or approved. It has been authorized by the FDA under an emergency use authorization for use by authorized laboratories and patient care settings. The test has been authorized only for the detection of nucleic acid from SARS-CoV-2, not for any other viruses or pathogens, and is only authorized for the duration of the declaration that circumstances exist justifying the authorization of emergency use of in vitro diagnostic tests for detection and/or diagnosis of COVID-19 under Section 564(b)(1) of the Act, 21 U.S.C. § 360bbb-3(b)(1), unless the authorization is terminated or revoked sooner.

The BinaxNOW™ COVID-19 Ag Test Card EUA has not been FDA cleared or approved. It has been authorized by the FDA under an emergency use authorization for use by authorized laboratories and patient care settings. The test has been authorized only for the detection of proteins from SARS-CoV-2, not for any other viruses or pathogens, and is only authorized for the duration of the declaration that circumstances exist justifying the authorization of emergency use of in vitro diagnostic tests for detection and/or diagnosis of COVID-19 under Section 564(b)(1) of the Act, 21 U.S.C. § 360bbb-3(b)(1), unless the authorization is terminated or revoked sooner.