Getting tested for the coronavirus could leave Americans drowning in medical debt

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America’s lack of a universal healthcare system could prevent people from seeking out testing. As COVID-19 continues to spread in the United States, many Americans are understandably wondering whether they should seek out specific testing if they come down with flu-like symptoms. However, due to the nature of the privatized healthcare industry in America, getting tested for the new coronavirus that causes COVID-19 could leave Americans saddled with thousands of dollars in medical debt. Read Full Story

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This medical test startup may soon have approval for a home test for COVID-19

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Scanwell Health—a winner of Fast Company’s 2020 World Changing Ideas Awards—is helping to enable a switch to telehealth that’s not only doctor consultation, but testing as well. And it couldn’t be coming at a more important moment. If it gets approval from the FDA, a new test will make it possible to test to see if you’ve ever had COVID-19, without leaving your house. Using just a drop of blood from your finger and two drops of solution in the test kit. The results show up in 15 minutes. The test, which looks for antibodies and was widely used by Chinese doctors, isn’t as accurate as molecular tests that use complex lab equipment. But it could play an important role in monitoring and preventing the spread of the disease. Read Full Story

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America’s coronavirus testing is a disaster. Here’s how we could fix it

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Our failed testing system is the product of a Kafkaesque healthcare bureaucracy, argues Nomi Health CEO Mark Newman. Is there a better way? As delays in coronavirus test results plague countless cities and states across the country, it cannot be overstated how detrimental these haphazard testing operations are, not only to our nation’s public health, but also to any hope we have of getting our economy moving forward again. Read Full Story

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COVID-19 unemployment fail: State labor departments hobbled by 1970s tech

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The coronavirus crisis has reinforced that the United States gets an “F” in disaster preparedness. The coronavirus crisis has reinforced that the United States gets an “F” in disaster preparedness. Our great country’s vital systems are crumbling under pressure: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s test kit fiasco cut the legs out from under our healthcare system, and the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act’s harried small business loan program is floundering as banks scramble to meet demand. Read Full Story

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This Bill Gates-backed program in Seattle is sending at-home COVID tests to anyone who wants one

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The Seattle Coronavirus Assessment Network is trying to get a true sense of the spread of infection among asymptomatic people without forcing people to expose healthcare workers or themselves. Coronavirus testing in the U.S. still lags behind other countries, and most of the tests that happen now go to those with symptoms—so we still have little sense of how many people are truly infected. (By some estimates, as many as 50% of those with COVID-19 may not have symptoms, and many others with mild symptoms are also unlikely to be tested.) Read Full Story

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Hospitals are bringing nature into stressful COVID-19 ICUs

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Three hospitals are using nature to improve the well-being of workers in an environment that feels anything but natural. The coronavirus pandemic is taking a huge toll on the mental well-being of healthcare workers. The shifts are long, and often, heartbreaking, as medical workers bear witness to the impact of the coronavirus on patients and their families firsthand—while barely getting to see their own families for support along the way. In response, some hospitals are offering a new way to help these workers catch a break. Read Full Story

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How COVID tests are becoming a lot less uncomfortable—and safer for nurses

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Early COVID-19 tests felt like “getting poked in the brain,” and the process also put healthcare workers at serious risk of infection. With new collection methods, that’s changing. If you haven’t been tested for COVID-19 yet, there’s a good chance you will be at some point this year. As cases continue to grow, the U.S. is testing around 500,000 people a day. Luckily, the experience now may more pleasant—and safer for healthcare workers—than the first tests, which used giant swabs that are pushed through the nose to the back of the throat, twisted around to collect a sample, and pulled out, in a process than some people have described as feeling like being poked in the brain . Read Full Story

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The U.S. betrayed the healthcare workers fighting the coronavirus

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The handling of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States will go down as the worst public health disaster in the history of the country, says Dr. Eric Topol. The year 2020 started with American physicians, nurses, and the whole healthcare workforce dispirited, in a deep state of burnout , with the worst rates of clinical depression and suicides that have been recorded. Indeed, this was not confined to the United States; a global epidemic of burnout had been diagnosed. But things were about to get considerably worse for the healthcare workforce. Read Full Story

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The key to stopping the coronavirus spread are new tests that prioritize speed over accuracy

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Moderately accurate screening tests still reduce transmission but would allow us to test a lot more people—and get results faster. Broad access to testing is one of the most powerful tools to keep the COVID-19 pandemic under control until there’s an effective vaccine in use. Diagnostic testing , which is used in medical settings to determine whether someone is infected with the coronavirus, is costly, slow, and overstretched in the U.S. But that’s not the only type of test that can be used. Read Full Story

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This clever COVID-19 testing technique could help send kids back to school safely

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Companies are now developing pooled testing as a way of detecting coronavirus’s presence in a community earlier. The U.S. has conducted some 52 million COVID-19 tests, but it’s still not enough. Many epidemiologists believe that broadly testing people with or without symptoms is the way to root out cases of COVID-19 and develop better strategies for curbing the spread of the disease. To do that, public health experts are now discussing a technique called pooled testing—testing a batch of human samples together for COVID-19. Read Full Story

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Airports can be a petri dish for COVID-19. Now you can get a test on-site

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Adaptations to the physical spaces of airports may soon become more common, as air travel rebounds and the companies dependent on it seek to assuage the fears of customers. Of the many causes and culprits behind the global spread of COVID-19, the international airport is probably the easiest to blame. As an open portal to almost anywhere in the world, the airport is both the way in and the way out for highly contagious diseases. Now, airports are beginning to try to cut down this risk by offering COVID-19 testing facilities directly on-site. Read Full Story

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