Biden administration announces at-home COVID test with 95% accuracy

Originally published at: Biden administration announces at-home COVID test with 95% accuracy | Boing Boing


Hope this will be subsidized or covered by insurance for those who really need it.


A positive result is a pretty good indicator. A negative result tells you nothing. From the manufacturer: “The Ellume COVID-19 Home test is more likely to return a false negative result for asymptomatic individuals than symptomatic patients. Negative results, particularly in asymptomatic individuals, should be considered to be presumptive and additional testing with a highly sensitive molecular SARS-CoV-2 test may be necessary to help rule out infection.”


Yeah - we had tests like that here in UK. Operation Moonshot. Never really took off or delivered what was promised simply because a non-positive test meant that the person tested assumed they didn’t have it, i.e.that a non positive result was a negative result when they may well have had it in fact, and proceeded to spread it.


An informative podcast from last year about rapid tests:

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My first thought was: So someone has invented an accurate portable home test, and then they’ve hobbled it by making it only usable if you own a smartphone and are willing to download a proprietary app that will probably spy on you. Why go to the expense of putting bluetooth communication into the device rather than having the device show the result directly? The only reason I can think of is to open a route for spying on your phone.

And then I saw the other comments flagging the horrendous false negative rate on this “95% accurate” test, which is a far more serious problem than my quibble. Since when is it ethical to say a test is 95% accurate if it’s got a 5% false positive rate but a terrible false negative rate?

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The 19 Jan episode of BBC Radio 4 - Inside Health - Downloads is very good on these

Just putting this out there in the ‘correlation doesn’t equal causation’ bin… we haven’t had any significant covid outbreaks for some time so I wouldn’t trust an Australian test because of this.

Tests are one thing but the simple wearing of face masks, social distancing and quarantine/lock-down isolation have worked.

Too bad they won’t let us cough into our phones once to get 98.5% accuracy, no swab required.

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