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Hamburg's "" develops Corona self-test for home use

Patients urged to use questionnaire and smear kit to avoid spreading infection

The Hamburg-based company has come up with a questionnaire, which patients fill out at home to help contain the spread of the novel coronavirus COVID-19. It is emailed to the doctor on completion. Based thereon, the doctor can assess the risk of infection and can arrange for a corona smear kit to be sent to the patient. Depending on the answers, a self-test kit is sent to patients by the Hamburg-based laboratory Dr. Heidrich & Partner with video instructions and a stamped return envelope. Doctors and manufacturers hope to reduce the risk of infection as patients do not have to go to their GP and lower the risk of infecting other people. This comes as several German states cancel events such as trade fairs or concerts.

Minimizing the risk of infection

Interested doctors can add the so-called “Corona Virus Test” button to their website, which takes the patient to the questionnaire. It is based on the guidelines of the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) and the German Society for General and Family Medicine (DEGAM) and asks the patient about symptoms and their whereabouts. The kit allows the patient to take a self-smear at home, which is then examined for the corona pathogen in a laboratory. Commenting on the self-test, Professor Christian Drosten, Director of the Institute for Virology at the Charité –Universitätsmedizin Berlin, said: “Of course, a co-ordinated patient must look in the mirror and be really able to put the swab behind the soft palate.”

Self-smear with precise instructions

This service is free of charge for doctors‘ practices and for the patient provided that the health insurer covers the costs. Otherwise, it costs around EUR 150 which will be reimbursed or paid by the health insurers depending on the doctor’s opinion. Patients gain certainty about a possible corona infection within three days. “If you wish to get the results a day earlier, a patient can ask a trusted person to bring the sample straight to the laboratory,” said Dr. Jens Heidrich.

Sources and further information:
Press release
Information for patients:
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