Rapid PCR test gets FDA emergency authorization

COVID-19 tests generally fall into two categories: rapid antigen tests, and slower but more accurate polymerase chain reaction tests.

The FDA granted emergency use authorization to a test that bucks those norms: a 15-minute PCR test, developed by researchers from Chicago-based Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine and Northwestern's McCormick School of Engineering in Evanston, Ill., according to a news release.

The test, called the Diagnostic Analyzer for Specific Hybridization, is packaged in a device that's about the size of a cereal box, the news release said. Users perform a single nasal swab, insert it into the device, and 15 minutes later a positive or negative result appears on the device's touchscreen.

"DASH offers the accuracy of other PCR tests in a compact, portable platform that can be operated by non-technical personnel at the point-of-care in 15 minutes," researcher Robert Murphy, MD, said.


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