Starting Tuesday, Quest Diagnostics announced individuals can purchase COVID-19 antibody testing for themselves online, without visiting a doctor’s office, through QuestDirect, the consumer-initiated testing business of Quest Diagnostics.
The COVID-19 Immune Response test broadens access to COVID-19 antibody testing in the United States. On April 21, Quest announced the launch of its COVID-19 antibody test service for healthcare providers to order on behalf of patients. With QuestDirect, an individual can request the test and purchase it online. Each test request is reviewed and, if appropriate, an order for testing is issued by a licensed physician. Individuals have the opportunity to speak with a licensed physician about their results.
With the QuestDirect service, individuals may gain insight into whether or not they have been exposed to COVID-19 and have developed antibodies. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, although we do not yet know whether the development of antibodies provides protection from re-infection, or how long such protection lasts, COVID-19 antibody testing may indicate whether “the person has been exposed to the virus and developed antibodies against it, which may mean that person has at least some immunity to the coronavirus.” Antibody testing uses blood serum specimens and is sometimes referred to as serology testing.
“With the introduction of this test and service, Quest is making it easy for people to access quality testing for antibodies to the virus which causes COVID-19, with access to physician interpretation and steering into needed care,” said Jay Wohlgemuth, M.D., Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer for Quest Diagnostics. “While the science on COVID-19 is evolving, testing for antibodies may identify people who have likely been exposed to COVID-19 and might have mounted an immune response to the virus. Our goal is to empower individuals and their physicians to make informed decisions about their risk of infection and of spreading the virus.”
Test results are available in an easy-to-read report on MyQuest, the company’s secure patient portal accessible on a smartphone, tablet, or desktop. Test results are available 1-2 days on average after providing a blood draw.
Quest is working in collaboration with PWNHealth, an independent national network of physicians providing clinical oversight for QuestDirect services, including delivery of results and post-test telehealth support to patients.
After purchasing the service online, an individual will be prompted to schedule an appointment for a blood draw at one of the 2,200 patient service centers Quest Diagnostics operates around the United States. For the safety of our patients and employees, individuals must not have experienced symptoms of COVID-19 for at least 10 days; wear a face mask; and pass a contact-less temperature check.
Antibody testing is not intended for use in individuals with an active COVID-19 infection, including individuals with symptoms. Patients suspected of having or confirmed to have active COVID-19 infection or disease may not visit Quest patient service centers, which are not equipped to collect the necessary respiratory specimens for molecular COVID-19 diagnostic testing. Patients who believe they may have COVID-19 are strongly encouraged to contact their healthcare provider.
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