To speed turnaround times, Dr. Collins said, health officials are pushing for more point-of-care testing — “on the spot” tests designed to be done rapidly and easily, without the need for specialized laboratory equipment or personnel.
Some of these tests could be completed in a doctor’s office, or perhaps even at home, in under an hour. Simple, speedy tests could prove to be a boon for institutions and communities that care for large numbers of vulnerable people, such as nursing homes. They could also help health workers bring testing supplies to populations that have often been denied access to testing and reliable health care, including those marginalized by race, ethnicity or socioeconomic status.
A handful of point-of-care tests have been greenlighted for emergency use by the Food and Drug Administration.
“We need to invest a lot of money, and the government is willing to do so, in scaling those up,”