COVID-19 Innovation Spotlighted at Tech Conference

Abbott President and CEO Robert Ford discusses the company's approach to rapid COVID-19 testing during a WSJ panel.

COVID-19 Innovation Spotlighted at Tech Conference COVID-19 Innovation Spotlighted at Tech Conference

Strategy and Strength|Oct.29, 2020

Democratize and digitize. These principles are behind Abbott's long-term strategy to develop rapid COVID-19 tests, including the company's latest, BinaxNOW.

"We didn't want to just do another test," said Abbott President and Chief Executive Officer Robert Ford during the recent WSJ Tech Live panel, "The Vaccine and Testing Arms Race." Instead, the company has been developing life-changing tech to attack the pandemic on critical fronts — speed, simplicity, affordability, access and reliability.

The WSJ Tech Live conference spotlights critical topics impacting technology and business. Not surprisingly, this year's event focused on COVID-19.

Abbott was invited to participate in a panel and round-table discussion because of the technologies the company has developed to help tackle the pandemic, get people back to doing the things they love and boost the economy.

During the panel, Ford shared the strategy behind the development of Abbott's game-changing BinaxNOW test.

First, Abbott wanted a COVID-19 test that was accessible, so the company priced BinaxNOW at $5.

Second, it needed to be digitized, so the company paired the test with a first-of-its kind complementary app called NAVICA, which allows people who test negative to display their result on their mobile device.

"We build our products as if they're intended for our own family," Ford said. "I couldn’t think of a more specific situation where that's so true to us as we look at these tests."

Watch the panel here.

This story was originally published on October 29, 2020 and updated on June 03, 2022.


The BinaxNOW™ COVID-19 tests have not been FDA cleared or approved. They have been authorized by the FDA under an emergency use authorization. They have been authorized only for the detection of proteins from SARS-CoV-2, not for any other viruses or pathogens, and are only authorized for the duration of the declaration that circumstances exist justifying the authorization of emergency use of in vitro diagnostics for detection and/or diagnosis of COVID-19 under Section 564(b)(1) of the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, 21 U.S.C. § 360bbb-3(b)(1), unless the declaration is terminated or authorization is revoked sooner.

For serial testing, the BinaxNOW COVID-19 Antigen Tests should be performed twice over 3 days, at least 24 hours (and no more than 48 hours) apart. For symptomatic use, a single test can be used.