Nurx Launches First COVID-19 Home Testing & Online Consultat

|Mar 20|magazine16 min read

SAN FRANCISCO, March 20, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Nurx, the leading health tech company providing convenient and affordable care for sensitive health needs, today introduced a COVID-19 home testing and online consultation service to address the pandemic. The company is successfully taking on one of the greatest challenges in the COVID-19 public health emergency by seamlessly and safely connecting people with testing, education, and care to slow the spread of the virus and manage the burden on the U.S. healthcare system. 

Nurx will introduce the COVID-19 service on a limited basis at launch and will be able to provide over 10,000 home test kits over the following weeks. The company plans to provide over 100,000 home test kits in the near future. Nurx is uniquely positioned to address this public health emergency having provided remote care to nearly half a million patients across the country and leveraging deep expertise in home testing and treatment for infectious diseases. 

Nurx's COVID-19 service will initially be focused on people who have had direct exposure to the virus and those who are experiencing symptoms. This includes people who work in hospitals, nursing homes, medical clinics, and schools or daycare facilities. For those who are at high-risk, Nurx's clinical team will be recommending in-person care. Nurx's ability to provide testing will be responsive and dynamic while adhering to leading clinical public health guidelines. 

Additionally, once treatment is available for COVID-19, Nurx will be able to prescribe, fulfill, and ship medication directly to the patient's home. 

After the patient completes an online medical examination, a Nurx provider will determine whether home testing is appropriate, based on prevailing public health and clinical criteria for access to COVID-19 testing. Patients will receive the home testing kit shipped overnight along with detailed instructions for sample collection and a pre-paid overnight mailer to return the sample. Within 48 hours of the lab receiving the sample, a Nurx provider will deliver the test result via the app or website and will advise on appropriate next steps, including whether to seek in-person care or self-isolate.

"We believe that home testing for COVID-19 will be a crucial part of the strategy to contain the virus," said Nurx CEO Varsha Rao. "Home testing will expand access to much needed testing while decreasing the risk of exposure to healthcare providers. The need for home testing will become even more important as more Americans are being asked to stay at home and shelter in place, and novel solutions including drive-through clinics are already overwhelmed." 

The COVID-19 home test was innovated by Nurx's long standing home testing partner Molecular Testing Labs (Molecular). Molecular is a CAP-accredited and CLIA-licensed laboratory with extensive experience in infectious diseases and home testing validation. Recent articles in JAMA and the New England Journal of Medicine reinforced the importance of leveraging home testing and telemedicine to address this unprecedented public health emergency. 

Nurx's COVID-19 service includes:

  • Home testing kit, which includes collection materials, detailed guidance and instructions for how to collect samples, and a prepaid envelope to return the sample
  • Overnight shipping of the kit to the patient and for the sample return
  • Test results and guidance based on the results within 48 hours of sample receipt
  • Online consultation with one of nearly 50 Nurx medical providers, regardless of test results, through Nurx's secure messaging system. Significant patient education is provided with each result, and patients are able to ask unlimited follow-up questions for one year without the need to schedule an appointment
  • Supportive care by Nurx's on-staff team of nurses, navigators, and customer care associates, who work closely with Nurx providers to ensure each patient's care needs are addressed

"Seamless and integrated home-based consultations, testing, and clinical management is what is needed at this moment of the COVID-19 pandemic," said infectious disease specialist and Nurx Senior Medical Advisor Dr. Christopher Hall, MD, MS, AAHIVS. "Our approach directly addresses the infection control issues of paramount concern in this outbreak, ensuring we can expand access to testing while protecting our fellow healthcare providers."

Nurx is dedicated to making its COVID-19 service as accessible and affordable as possible and at the cost required to bring it to patients. The service will initially be available for $135 plus $46 for overnight shipping both ways. The cost covers all aspects of the service including the test kit components, medical provider time, two-way overnight shipping delivery, and administrative costs. The price also allows Nurx and its home testing laboratory partner to sustain this service on an ongoing basis. Patients can submit a receipt from Nurx to their insurance company to help cover the cost of the service, or use their FSA and HSA dollars for a portion of the service. The company is in active conversations with public and private partners to help cover the cost of the service so we can provide it at a lower price or without charge, where possible. 

Nurx's partner lab Molecular has been working diligently to validate non-invasive testing that can be collected easily and accurately at-home. The lab has validated several sample collection devices to help mitigate the risk of insufficient specimen collections and supply chain backlogs. The collection device included in the current home testing kit is an oropharyngeal (throat) swab, which can be collected in a few minutes. The oropharyngeal swab has been correlated with collection methods recommended in guidance released by the World Health Organization (WHO).

As this new testing is being offered, Molecular is also beginning research on at-home testing for COVID-19 antibody detection. This test may be able to help confirm acute infections as well as be able to tell patients who are no longer experiencing symptoms if they had previously contracted the infection, and will help to further the research for vaccines and long-term treatment of the disease.

In an effort to decrease the risk of exposure for both patients and in-person healthcare providers, while also playing an important role in alleviating the stress and burden on the U.S. healthcare system, Nurx's swift efforts in allowing people to take a COVID-19 test remotely is a valuable strategy for containing the virus. 

For more information about the service and to request a test kit, please visit https://www.nurx.com/coronavirus-testing/

About Nurx
Nurx is a health tech company providing convenient, affordable, and personalized care for sensitive health needs. By reimagining the healthcare experience, Nurx offers patients transparent pricing and judgment-free care whenever and wherever works best for them. We believe everyone should have the freedom to live well and be in charge of their healthcare decisions, regardless of their circumstances. From diagnosis to delivery, we make every part of getting healthy and staying healthy, better.

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Allison Hoffman
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SOURCE Nurx