SEATTLE, March 26, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- As COVID-19 spreads in the Pacific Northwest, health systems have been met with a severe shortage of tests needed to keep up with demand.
ZOOM+Care, a leading provider of retail and virtual healthcare, has partnered with a Washington-based laboratory, Molecular Testing Labs, to pilot COVID-19 self-testing to patients. The validation pilot is being conducted under the guidance of a renowned public health university and with the support of parent-company PeaceHealth.
Currently, the company is actively seeking candidates in the Seattle area to participate in the pilot, which will compare provider sampled nasopharyngeal tests–the FDA approved gold standard of COVID-19 testing–to patient obtained oropharyngeal and salivary samples. Candidates who opt out of the pilot will still receive COVID-19 testing per FDA guidelines and current standards of care.
Dr. Erik Vanderlip, ZOOM+Care's Chief Medical Officer, says the goals of the pilot program are twofold. "Firstly, we want to ease the COVID-19 testing bottleneck," says Vanderlip. "If successful, this project could offer an alternative to provider-led testing. Secondly, we hope to validate the use of salivary sampling for COVID-19—an outcome that would drastically improve testing capabilities." Currently, there is a nationwide shortage of swabs needed to perform naso- and oropharyngeal testing.
If successful, the comparison could open the door to self-sampling for COVID-19 and lay the groundwork for ZOOM+Care to distribute test kits to patients in-home, across the Pacific Northwest.
"ZOOM+Care's mission is to improve health, reduce costs, and provide a delightful experience for our patients. This innovative pilot aims to do just that by giving control back to the patient and allowing them to self-test in a safe and affordable manner," says Torben Nielsen, CEO of ZOOM+Care.
Seattle residents who are interested in participating in this study must currently be experiencing symptoms of fever and cough, or fever and shortness of breath and be above the age of 18. Furthermore, they must be able to transport themselves by car to a ZOOM+Care testing site, located in East Seattle.
Potential candidates can submit themselves for consideration at www.zoomcare.com/covid-19-testing-program. Due to high demand, patients are not guaranteed access to testing or assumed participation in the study.
About the ZOOM+Care®: With 46 clinics across the Pacific Northwest, ZOOM+Care® is the leading regional provider of on-demand retail and digital healthcare, providing urgent care, primary care, specialty care, mental health, telemedicine, and more at zoomcare.com. For more updates, follow us on social media at @zoomcare. Direct all press requests to email@example.com.
About Molecular: Molecular's mission is to provide innovative laboratory solutions through collaborative partnerships with payors, private healthcare institutions, universities, and public health organizations. We have revolutionized access to convenient and affordable testing using unique distribution and collection methodologies. We believe everyone should have access to the care they need. Learn more at www.MolecularTestingLabs.com.