the science

Easy-to-use, lab testing technology now available at home

For the first time ever, there is at-home lab testing technology that allows you to perform a test for COVID-19 and Flu A/B easily in the comfort of home. Now you can get results for these three viruses in 30 minutes from a device that fits in the palm of your hand.

A pair of hands hold a vial with purple solution while the white device with a green Ready light sits on a surface.

A different technology than rapid antigen tests.

Antigen tests, often called rapid tests, are a very common type of diagnostic test. They are designed to detect viral proteins, called antigens. The LUCIRA® by Pfizer COVID-19 & Flu Home Test is a nucleic acid amplification test, which is a different type of test called a molecular test. Molecular tests detect viral genetic material called ribonucleic acid (RNA). If RNA from a virus that the test can detect is in your sample, the test uses a series of steps to copy, or amplify, genetic material to detect the presence of the viruses.

A molecular at-home test that is a similar technology to a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test.

The LUCIRA® by Pfizer COVID-19 & Flu Home Test and lab-based PCR tests are both molecular tests. These tests detect genetic material called RNA from target viruses. However, molecular tests can do this in different ways. LUCIRA® by Pfizer COVID-19 & Flu Home Test uses a technology called RT-LAMP, or reverse transcription loop-mediated isothermal amplification. If COVID-19 and/or Flu A/B is present in your sample, the test identifies and copies, or amplifies, the virus’s genetic material millions of times. This is all done at one consistent temperature, allowing it to be done at home.

A modern technology enabling lab amplification in a convenient, palm-sized device.

The fact that the LUCIRA® by Pfizer COVID-19 & Flu Home Test can run at one consistent temperature is a main reason why the diagnostic amplification ability normally associated with lab-based PCR machines can now be found in a convenient, at-home test that is powered by 2 AA batteries.
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