I’ve tried a dozen at-home Covid tests over the previous 12 months. If it’s on the shelf at a drugstore, pharmacy, or grocery retailer, I’ve in all probability used it a number of occasions. But at any time when I open a take a look at like BinaxNow or QuickVue, I nonetheless attain for the instruction handbook, largely out of worry that I’ll mess up a vital step. It’s been a continuing reminder of why I desire utilizing Cue Health’s Cue Reader diagnostic tool over some other at-home take a look at. It’s freed from tubes, options, cassettes, and take a look at strips.
I wasn’t all the time a fan of this Covid-19 take a look at equipment. Last 12 months, I initially handed on recommending it because of its mind-boggling $444 beginning value, which has since dropped to $394 (and continues to be costly). It simply felt fallacious throughout a pandemic when hundreds of thousands of people were losing jobs and slicing bills as a result of unpredictable occasions. It was a lot wiser to only spend roughly $25 on an at-home take a look at (half of which was covered by insurance) and obtain eight free tests per month. Plus, there was all the time the choice to take a free Covid take a look at at an area testing website.
However, the Biden administration has suspended its free at-home Covid take a look at program because of a lack of funding from Congress. The federal funding without spending a dime Covid testing places and partial insurance coverage protection for at-home checks (along with free vaccines and treatment) are additionally running out. This may imply that restocking your at-home stash might change into costlier these subsequent few months. Suddenly, investing in a Cue Reader doesn’t really feel so outlandish.
A Compact and Speedy Machine
Cue Health’s at-home take a look at facilities round a small central hub referred to as the Cue Reader, which may detect a virus’ genetic materials. Known as a molecular take a look at, it’s usually extra correct than an antigen (often known as a speedy take a look at) and similar to a polymerase chain response (PCR) take a look at, with the power to establish small traces of SARS-CoV-2 earlier—probably even a day or two earlier than you begin feeling any signs. That can be critical when making an attempt to stop the unfold of the virus. Cue says its take a look at has an accuracy fee of 97.8 % (simply behind the single-use Lucira at-home molecular test, which the corporate claims is 98 % correct). According to this independent study, Cue’s at-home molecular take a look at additionally demonstrated 99.4% accuracy in comparison with lab-based PCR checks.
The Cue Reader is compact and doesn’t look ugly. I hold it on my desk, however I also can see it resting on an entryway desk or kitchen counter. It’s simple to journey with too. I threw it in my baggage once I went to California this previous summer season, however I additionally stash it in my duffle once I go house to go to my mother and father. It’s rechargeable, so that you don’t have to fret about changing batteries (I simply hold it plugged in at my desk).
What I really like most about this technique is definitely taking the take a look at—one thing I by no means thought I’d say. Yes, you continue to must swab your nostrils, however the remainder is simply so darn simple and doesn’t really feel like a science experiment. There are not any tubes of answer. Instead, the Cue Reader handles every little thing. It works by way of Bluetooth, so that you’ll want a smartphone to make use of the Reader, nevertheless it’s easy to arrange. Download the app, make an account, and pair the Cue Reader to your cellphone. When you’re able to take a take a look at, open the app for a walkthrough of every step. There are so few steps that it’s simple to memorize—no instruction handbook wanted.
The Reader comes with a number of cartridges, and identical to the way you’d push Super Mario World into the Super Nintendo Entertainment System, you first must push one among these cartridges into the reader and look forward to it to heat up. Once the app says the cartridge is prepared, swab your nostril with the included wand and insert it into the cartridge. That’s it! After 20 minutes, you’ll be able to test your outcomes in your cellphone and, if wanted, ship the outcomes as a PDF by means of e-mail or textual content. Cleanup can also be a breeze, although maybe simply as wasteful as different at-home kits—take away the cartridge from the reader and throw it out.