CBSN New YorkWatch

Max Minute: Diabetes Company’s Affordable, Fast Coronavirus Test May Be Key To Reopening Businesses

By Dr. Max Gomez

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – With increasing calls to re-open the economy, public health experts agree that doing that safely depends almost entirely on testing – widespread, affordable, accurate and accessible testing.

The coronavirus tests that are presently available will not support a widescale return to normal.

Most of the so-called antibody tests are unreliable and it takes weeks for a person to make sufficient COVID-19 antibodies to be detectable.

The direct virus test has different drawbacks: The nasal swabs are unpleasant, the samples are prone to contamination, the tests are costly and it takes hours or days to get results.

Now a diabetes testing company called Decision Diagnostics Corp. says it has a test that solves all of those drawbacks. CFO Keith Berman calls it a game-changer.

“We’re the product of choice because it works, it works fast and because it’s affordable,” he said.

CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC

Berman says he was contacted by several large companies and FEMA to adapt it’s well-known diabetes testing technology into both a professional healthcare version and a home unit. Both are awaiting FDA approval.

It works by taking a finger-prick drop of blood and, through sophisticated micro-processing, arrives at a result within 30 to 45 seconds. The device costs $15 and the test strip kit costs $30. That’s why companies are interested.

“Businesses can test their workers as often as they want, in a matter of seconds, everyday if they like,” said Berman.

It’s not free, but it is an affordable enough technology that could open up restaurants, movies, all manner of businesses and group venues.

The company hopes to have all the FDA-mandated testing done by next week. If approved, Berman says they could ship as many as 100,000 units immediately and be making up to 400,000 a week within 60 days.

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