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Which Bulk COVID-19 Rapid Antigen Tests Should You Buy?

Medicine doctor and robotics research and analysis. Diagnose checking coronavirus or covid-19 testing result with virtual screen in laboratory, Inhibition of disease outbreaks and Medical technology

CareStart, On/Go, iHealth, QuickVue manufacturers increase production.

Innovative biomedical and pharmaceutical companies rushed to create accurate at-home tests to detect COVID-19 at home in 15 minutes or less. Since the first Abbott BinaxNOW COVID-19 testing kits were released to the public in early 2021, several more have been given the green light by the FDA. The over-the-counter (OTC) kits utilize different markers to accurately detect all known coronavirus variants including delta and omicron.

Here is a quick breakdown of the different types of tests and the circumstances on when they should be used.


PCR tests are the most sensitive COVID-19 tests, and the type most commonly administered at doctor’s offices and hospitals. A PCR test can also detect the variant of the patient’s COVID-19 strain. PCR tests have an extremely high sensitivity — so high, in fact, that they sometimes detect tiny fragments of RNA in people who are no longer sick or infectious.


Rather than looking for the viral RNA itself, antigen tests detect surface proteins and other viral byproducts using a process called lateral flow immunoassay.

Although antigen tests do have a lower sensitivity than PCR tests, they’re still highly effective at detecting SARS-CoV-2 infection. The CDC says these tests are especially good at detecting infection at the point when a person is most contagious — which is exactly when it’s most important.

As of today there is a number of FDA-approved options for organizations and businesses besides the popular Abbott BinaxNOW At-Home Tests: Access Bio CareStart, Quidel QuickVue, iHealth, Acon Flowflex and the Intrivo On/Go COVID-19 testing kits, all have a very similar accuracy for detecting a negative or positive result.

At-home tests have substantial advantages that make them popular for home or workplace testing:

  • Simple enough for most people to self-test within 15 minutes without any help
  • Available digital health pass from eMed for travel and events
  • Reduces potential for passing the virus while awaiting an appointment or the lab results


There’s a third type of COVID-19 test that’s worth discussing to avoid confusion. A serology test, also known as an antibody test, is designed to detect whether a person has ever been infected with the SARS-CoV-2 virus in the past. These tests are not used for detecting active coronavirus infection and shouldn’t be confused with antigen tests — “antigen” and “antibody” are actually opposite terms.

Serology tests work by detecting the long-term antibodies that a person’s immune system creates to defend against the coronavirus, which take time to build up. Serology testing is an important tool for professionals who track the spread of the virus, but these tests shouldn’t be used in place of a rapid antigen or PCR test for detecting current infections.

Information collected and researched by bulk COVID-19 test supplier,
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