If there is one certain way we can curtail the spread of COVID-19 it would be through improved testing. Right now our testing is pretty accurate but it's not really convenient nor is it particularly fast. Researchers at Tulane University hope to rectify that situation with a new testing program and protocol they've developed using your saliva and your smartphone.

Dr. Tony Hu, the Chair of Biotechnology Innovation at Tulane told the Louisiana Radio Network that the test has a 97% accuracy rate. It should also be fairly inexpensive to distribute and the fact that it works with the kinds of smartphones that almost everyone has makes this testing idea very intriguing.

Currently, the test is being vetted by the Food and Drug Administration. If and when approval is granted from the FDA then the new test will likely become more readily available.

The Tulane researchers say the saliva test is much less invasive than the nasal swab. The fact that it doesn't create the same kind of discomfort at the nasal swab and the fact the saliva test is more consistent should be very attractive attributes to those vetting the procedure.

If the current timetable holds researchers hope to have the test kits available for home use somewhere in the next three to six months. That of course will be determined by the vetting process at the FDA.

Once that approval has been granted then the focus will shift toward production and distribution. Again, researchers believe the cost of this test will be minimal making it even more attractive to those seeking to get answers about their health.

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