Soon, Americans will be able to get a COVID test as easily as buying a snack — albeit a much more expensive snack.
Vending machines dispensing at-home COVID-19 tests for $149 apiece will soon debut in cities like New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Boston and Dallas from health company Wellness 4 Humanity. The company behind the home test kits says the machines are slated to pop up in cities this month, according to its website.
Two types of coronavirus tests will be available, both for purchase with contactless mobile payment. The TRUSTPASS Rapid Antigen At-Home Test Kit provides results in 15 minutes, with no shipping or lab work required, and is said to have "97.4% accuracy and 100% specificity, meaning false negatives are unlikely," according to a Wellness 4 Humanity press release. The company's At-Home Saliva RT-PCR Test, meanwhile, is done through a saliva collection, rather than nasal swabs. Customers receive their results within 48 hours with 99% accuracy, the company says. Results are sent to customers via the TRUSTPASS app.
Consumers using the latter tests will be provided with a shipping label, for use when sending the saliva to a lab partner.
"These vending machines are a significant milestone in helping to provide Americans with easier access to fast, highly accurate COVID-19 testing," said Lian Nguyen Pham, CEO and co-founder of Wellness 4 Humanity, in a statement. "We've seen similar vending machines placed in highly populated, highly trafficked areas of Hong Kong and the United Kingdom to help contain the spread of the virus and, given the surge in cases the U.S. is currently experiencing, we hope to roll out our vending machines as soon as possible."