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How one company says it can do a coronavirus test in 15 minutes

March 26, 2020, 7:45 PM UTC

Henry Schein is the latest company to jump on the coronavirus-testing bandwagon. And it claims it can do one in just 15 minutes.

On Thursday, the firm announced a new COVID-19 test called the Standard Q COVID-19. According to an FAQ the company posted on its website, this test’s clearance didn’t require an “emergency use authorization” from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) because of the type of test it is.

What exactly is that? A “serology” test—as in a blood test, rather than a test which requires a nasal and mouth swab which has to be sent to a lab.

Henry Schein—a regular on the Fortune 500 with a reach extending across the spectrum of medical industries, including dental, pharmaceuticals, lab equipment, and vaccines—claims its test amounts to a pinprick blood draw. The blood samples would then be tested for antibodies associated with people who have—or have previously had—COVID-19. In essence, the company is saying that its diagnostic can help suss out both present and past cases to help medical professionals figure out exactly what level of care patients should get.

“Henry Schein has played a key role in providing point-of-care testing to health care professionals, and is now responding to the urgent need for wide availability of rapid point-of-care testing for COVID-19,” said CEO Stanley M. Bergman in a statement.

The firm also said that “several hundred thousand tests” would be available by March 30, with the capacity expected to ramp up in April.

The logistics behind how the test will be distributed and Schein’s pricing strategy is unclear. The firm pointed to its public FAQ, where it said, “Unit pricing is available through our Henry Schein Medical sales organization. As for sales and gross profit, as is customary, we don’t comment on sales and gross profit by individual product lines.”

This post has been updated to reflect a response by Henry Schein.

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