The new normal has paved the way for new essentials to be made available from a vending machine. New York City may soon install machines which can dispense COVID-19 home test kits instead of thirst-quenchers and snacks.
Wellness 4 Humanity is a health company that will soon start a roll out of COVID-19 home testing kits that can be bought right from vending machines. Each test costs $149. While it may be a bit pricey, it will save people time and effort since they can just buy the test kits from the machine without the need to go to clinics or hospitals.
Major cities in the U.S. will be the first ones that would enjoy the availability of these vending machines. The list includes Boston, Dallas, Los Angeles, New York City, and San Francisco.
There are two tests that can be acquired from the vending machines. One is the reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) saliva test and the rapid antigen test.
The RT-PCR, according to Wellness 4 Humanity, has a 99 percent accuracy. The RT-PCR tests would have a prepaid FedEx shipping label. The tests will then be sent to the company's partner lab. Results will be available in just 48 hours. The app that it will be using is TRUSTPASS, and the results will be sent back through the app.
The other test is the Emergency Use Authorized rapid antigen, which will be available at a later unannounced date. This will not require consumers to ship the test to the lab. The results will be made available in just 15 minutes and it also has a 97.4 percent accuracy and 100 percent specificity, denoting that false negatives are very unlikely.
Purchasing a test kit is done contactless. The transactions will be made through mobile phones, which will eliminate the need to touch the vending machine.
Liam Nguyen Pham, Wellness 4 Humanity CEO and co-founder, said in a press release that similar vending machines have been seen in highly populated areas like Hong Kong and the UK. He also stated that automated testing is a safe and convenient way to get tested for COVID-19.
The shortage of COVID-19 testing kits has prompted the company to offer these vending machines to the public. It can be recalled that at the start of the pandemic, even test kits were hard to come by. Those who do get tested would normally resort to contacting a friend or an acquaintance just to undergo the test, reported New York Post. With the availability of vending machines, the inconvenience and the time constraints may be eradicated.