The Twitter thread snowballed and Rothberg’s seemingly lofty idea quickly became a very real project.
“I told my team that the Chinese built a hospital in Wuhan in 10 days so we should be able to develop and deploy a true home test for Covid19 coronavirus in that time,” Rothberg told IEEE Spectrum. “The team is working around the clock to accomplish that goal.”
On top of that, Rothberg has enlisted the help of billionaire tech genius Bill Gates. While the Gates Foundation is working on its own at-home testing device, Rothberg believes the two can work in tandem. For example, patients could use the two different kits to confirm the accuracy of their results.
“Gates gave us great advice on making our kit easy, and lots of advice on making sure our app guides the user,” Rothberg adds.
If you need further convincing, Rothberg has been churning out smart medical devices via his startup accelerator 4Catalyzer since 2014. He was also awarded the 2016 National Medal of Technology and Innovation by President Barack Obama for his work in making genome sequencing faster and cheaper.
If Rothberg’s test kit comes to fruition, it promises to relieve the significant pressures currently imposed on pathology services, while also putting patients’ minds at ease quickly. Oh, and it’s also low cost.
May the force be with you, Rothberg.