UMass Chan Medical School researchers and others involved in the National Institutes of Health Rapid Acceleration of Diagnostics (RADx) initiative are looking for participants from almost anywhere in the United States to help them learn more about performing new home tests for COVID – 19.
The research study, which is part of the RADx Digital Independent Test Assessment Program (ITAP), involves downloading the MyDataHelps app, answering some questions and performing three types of COVID-19 tests at home over one to two days.
The new study comes in the heels of two others recently published analyzes of how people use COVID-19 tests at home in the community.
Participants will use a cotton swab to collect samples from the front of their nose and follow test instructions on how to process the samples. The over-the-counter home tests, which will be provided free of charge, give results in 15 minutes. Participants will also send samples to a laboratory for PCR testing, which will yield results two to five days after shipment.
A $ 25 gift card will be given to attendees who complete all parts of the survey on time.
“These studies will provide the data needed to confirm the performance of new rapid antigen tests,” said Nathaniel Hafer, PhD, assistant professor of molecular medicine and lead investigator of the RADx Tech Clinical Studies Core Logistics Team. “Bringing more high-quality tests to the U.S. consumer remains a priority for our research team.”
Dr. Hafer said the team hopes to enroll at least about 1,300 participants to achieve a minimum number of results that test positive for the disease. Because the information is provided digitally, the study may include participants from across the continental United States (except Arizona due to laboratory restrictions) who are over 2 years old.
In the early stages of the study, researchers are focusing on enrolling individuals who experience symptoms consistent with the Covid-19 infection. “This is important because in new tests, we want to make sure they work on symptomatic patients first,” said Apurv Soni, MD, PhD’21, assistant professor of medicine and lead researcher in the study.
“Digital testing makes it easier for people to contribute to research, as they do not have to travel to a research site,” Hafer said. “New tests can not be put on the market without rigorous clinical trials, so we really appreciate it when people volunteer for these studies.”
To sign up for the survey, download the MyDataHelps app and enter the code RCCZFS to see if you are eligible to participate.
Related UMass Chan News History:
New research shows the value of antigen testing in the home to slow the spread of COVID-19