The demand for COVID-19 antibody tests from individuals has remained high despite doubts over their accuracy. Lockdowns and fear of contraction at test sites have increased the demand for tests at home.
Verdict has conducted a poll to assess the payment options that people are willing to consider for COVID-19 antibody tests.
Analysis of the poll results revealed that people are willing to pay for at-home COVID-19 antibody tests, as opined by a majority of 52% of the respondents.
Further, 40% of the respondents voted for their willingness to pay for a test at a doctor’s office or hospital, while 24% chose neither of the options.
The analysis is based on 247 responses received from the readers of Hospital Management, a Verdict network site, between 25 July 2020 and 12 January 2021.
Effectiveness and cost of COVID-19 antibody tests
The antibody test for SARS-CoV-2, also called a Serology test, can detect the presence of antibodies in the blood. The test is important in identifying the stage of infection, and whether one has recovered from the infection.
Price and effectiveness of COVID-19 antibody tests have been debated, though. While rapid tests can be taken at home and deliver faster results at low cost, their accuracy is limited as the potential for false positives and false negatives is high. Assays, on the other hand, are more accurate but generally take one to three weeks or longer to identify antibodies.
Demand has increased from individuals for performing the tests at home with some companies offering at-home kits to test for COVID-19 antibodies. Regulatory authorities such as the US Food and Drug Administration and Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), however, have warned against relying on such tests as the results are not reliable and no such tests have been approved.