Infectious Disease

NIH launches COVID-19 telehealth program, ‘Home Test To Treat’

January 09, 2023

2 min read

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The NIH has launched a pilot COVID-19 telehealth program, “Home Test To Treat,” which will provide free at-home rapid testing, telehealth services and antiviral treatments for eligible individuals in select communities.

“At-home testing for COVID-19 is now widely available in the United States, as are antiviral treatments, and this program combines easy home access to both,” Bruce TrombergPhD, director of the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering at NIH, said in a press release. “The Home Test to Treat program allows those who are sick an alternative to venturing out for testing or treatment, potentially reducing the spread of COVID-19 in the community.”

The NIH has launched its “Home Test To Treat” program, which will allow eligible individuals to receive free at-home COVID-19 testing and telehealth services. Source: Adobe Stock.

The program will be piloted by local and state officials later this month in Berks County, Pennsylvania. About 8,000 residents are expected to participate. In the coming year, the program is aiming to serve 100,000 people across the country.

The launch of Home Test To Treat comes after the Biden administration and HHS launched a national COVID-19 test-to-treat initiative in March of last year, which has more than 1,000 locations for individuals to access “one-stop” testing and treatment .

Those locations include federally funded health centers and facilities that are part of the CDC’s Increasing Community Access to Testing program, which Home Test To Treat participants can also be tested at.

“The Test to Treat initiative has evolved to include more mobile and telehealth-based models that reduce barriers to access for the highest-risk individuals,” NIH said, calling Home Test To Treat an “important additional pathway” for rapid, lifesaving COVID- 19 treatments in vulnerable communities.

Organizers behind the Home Test To Treat program will continue to gather information through initial participants on what practices are most effective, while making improvements that will help the program to function on a larger scale.

The University of Massachusetts Chan Medical School will also analyze the program by evaluating participant attitudes, impacts of home testing and treatment and clinical outcomes from services.

According to NIH, additional communities in the US will be selected for the program based on several factors, including the level of community care needed, access to health care treatment, expected rates of COVID-19 infection and other socioeconomic factors.

Participants will be able to utilize the program through its website, hosted by telehealth service provider eMed, where individuals can sign up for Home Test To Treat, report symptoms, request antiviral treatment deliveries and receive telehealth sessions and test kits.

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