LabCorp today launched the LabCorp At Home COVID-19 Test Collection Service, the first seamless digital service aimed at helping doctors protect patients by testing them for COVID-19 before surgeries and other important treatments. The service received Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on July 1, 2020.
The service enables a doctor to directly order a LabCorp At Home COVID-19 test collection kit for their patient through a digital interface with LabCorp. Once the order is placed, LabCorp will send the COVID-19 kit to the patient, who will perform the sample collection using a nasal swab and send it back to LabCorp via FedEx. LabCorp will then deliver the patient’s test results to the healthcare provider’s electronic medical record (EMR) and the patient’s LabCorp Patient Portal, making the process seamless for the doctor and patient. The result provides the doctor with the information needed to make the appropriate clinical decision prior to proceeding with surgery or other treatment. LabCorp is piloting the service with select providers initially and plans to make the service available to more health systems, hospitals, and surgical centers through the providers’ EMRs in the coming weeks.
Popular Heartburn Drugs Linked to Heightened COVID-19 Risk
In the study, published Tuesday in pre-print form in the American Journal of Gastroenterology, scientists led by Cedars-Sinai Medical Center’s Dr. Brennan Spiegel conducted an online survey involving more than 86,000 people. Among them, more than 53,000 reported abdominal pain or discomfort, acid reflux, heartburn or regurgitation, and answered questions about the medications they took to relieve those symptoms. Of those, more than 3,300 tested positive for COVID-19.
When the researchers analyzed the data, they found that respondents who said they used proton pump inhibitor (PPI) medications to treat their heartburn had anywhere from two to nearly four times the risk of testing positive for COVID-19, compared to people not using such medications. PPI drugs, which are available by prescription and over the counter, work by turning off the pumps in cells that release acid into the stomach. They can be taken once or twice a day; people taking PPI medications twice a day had a higher risk of infection compared to those taking them once a day.