HOUSTON – BreatheMD is offering free testing for several dozen people as part of a study to see whether nasal swabs or saliva testing, which consists of spitting into a cup, is more effective.
"We're trying to get 50 people to sign up,” said Doctor Mary Bowden a Ear, Nose and Throat specialist.
BreatheMD has teamed up with Microgen Diagnostics a lab and research facility to conduct the testing.
“Part of our study is to gain more data comparing the swab to the saliva but so far the data shows the saliva is favorable,” Bowden said.
Bowden said three people were tested Monday and they’re are looking for 47 others to sign-up on its website.
The testing is free to those who have symptoms associated with COVID-19.
The studies finding and data will eventually be submitted to the New England Journal of Medicine.
Bowden said once the study is completed, BreatheMD will continue to offer testing but it will cost patients $200.
“We’re just charging people upfront and then giving them the information they need so they can submit their own claims to the insurance companies," Bowden said.
BreatheMD said it has offered testing since March 13 and have tested 600 people so far.
Bowden said testing results take about 36 hours.