The US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) have partnered with the Administration for Strategic Preparedness and Response (ASPR) to launch a Home Test to Treat program, which seeks to provide COVID-19 patients with telehealth and at-home care services.
Although the severity and incidence of COVID-19 have decreased overall, it is still essential to provide care and assistance to patients to ensure favorable results as the virus continues to change. NIH has been leading the national Test to Treat initiative for COVID-19 since March 2020. This initiative allows people to take a test for the virus, receive a healthcare assessment, get a prescription, and fill it all in one place. The Home Test to Treat program is an expansion of this initiative and is designed as a virtual community health intervention. Through this program, those eligible can receive free COVID-19-related resources, such as at-home rapid tests, telehealth sessions, and at-home treatments. Additionally, antiviral treatments are available to those who test positive, which can help lessen the chances of illness, hospitalization, or death. The National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB) supported the development of the program through the Rapid Acceleration of Diagnostics (RADx) initiative.
After the Home Test to Treat program is put into effect this month, its organizers will take note of the feedback given by participants to figure out the most effective methods and improve the program. eMed, a telehealth provider, will be supporting the Home Test to Treat program, which is set to begin in Berks County, Pennsylvania with up to 8,000 eligible participants. After signing up on the program’s website, residents will be able to report their symptoms, obtain telehealth services, antiviral treatments, and telehealth-enabled test kits. The University of Massachusetts Medical School, in collaboration with eMed, has been contracted by NIBIB to analyze the data collected through the program to assess its impact on patient outcomes. The Home Test to Treat program is estimated to reach around 100,000 people in the US by 2023, through its partnerships with local health departments. The program also has the potential to help identify strategies to tackle future pandemics.